Shafaq News/ Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared on Wednesday that his government would not return Syrian refugees back to the regime-controlled areas as long as he is in power, amid anger on social media over the arrival of Afghan refugees from the eastern border.
“As long as we are in power, we wouldn’t throw any of God's subjects to the laps of the murderers,” he told a group of journalists who accompanied him on a visit to Northern Cyprus. “I’m very clear. They have taken refuge with us. They beg for safety. We cannot tell them to go back to where they were.”
Erdogan’s remarks were an explicit response to the leader of Turkey’s opposition, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the chairman of the Republican People’s Party, known as CHP. The Middle East Eye reported.
“We will repair our relations with the Syrian government and send an ambassador to Damascus,” Kilicdaroglu said. “I will get funding from the EU countries to build schools and businesses for Syrians.”
Kilicdaroglu vehemently denied that his plan to send nearly 3.7 million refugees who fled the civil war since 2011 back to Syria was racist. Yet he repeated the line that Turkish workers were unhappy because Syrians were crowding them out.
“Syrians are our relatives. However, I believe they will be much happier if they live in the land they were born,” he said.
In response to these comments, Erdogan also said that what Kilicdaroglu proposed would be a violation of international law because it would be forced deportation. MEE said.
However, his government in the past has also been accused of forced deportations of Syrians, especially after the local elections in 2019.