Büyükelçi Faruk Kaymakçı:Mülteciler konusunda Türkiye üstünde düşen yükümlülüğü yerine getirdi (english)
Faruk Kaymakcı:Turkey to Europe: We did our part, now you do yours
Ankara pulled Europe out of the migration crisis. But the bloc hasn’t upheld its end of the bargain.
The humanitarian catastrophe that engulfed Europe in the summer of 2015, when hundreds of thousands fled war in Syria and conflicts in the Middle East and Northern Africa is now under control — in large part thanks to Turkey’s solidarity.
The European Union and Turkey both still face considerable pressure. The Syrian conflict alone displaced nearly 5 million people. In Europe, the crisis overwhelmed its southernmost countries and threatened one of its key principles: the freedom of movement.
Media reports have covered the hardships of Syrians who sought refuge in neighboring countries including Turkey — and rightly so. But the sheer scale of the burden Turkey is shouldering on Europe’s southern flank must not go unnoticed either.
Turkey has kept its borders open to people fleeing bloodshed and turmoil. It has accepted 3.2 million Syrians and 300,000 Iraqis and Afghans, with no discrimination based on their religion, sect, gender or ethnicity, making it one of the largest refugee-hosting countries in the world.
Turkey has so far spent approximately $30 billion — 3.5 percent of its GDP — to support refugees living inside its borders and help them to integrate socially and economically. Most of the 3.5 million people under temporary protection in Turkey live outside its temporary protection centers and live peacefully alongside the Turkish population.