In a video message to the Global Parliamentary Conference on Migration, President Erdoğan said: “We have not turned down anyone who has come to our doorstep due to their ethnic identity, religion, culture, disposition, or sect. Our country has been home to the highest number of refugees in the world for the past 7 years. We will inshallah continue to fulfill this responsibility placed on us by our history, culture and faith.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sent a video message to The Global Parliamentary Conference with the theme “Parliaments and the Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees: How to Bring About Stronger International Cooperation and National Implementation?” held in Istanbul by the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye (GNAT) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
“COUNTRIES LIKE OURS THAT NEIGHBOR CRISIS REGIONS SHOULDER THE MAIN BURDEN”
It is observed that economic troubles aggravate xenophobia all across the world particularly in western countries, the President said. “What is more, the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic is displacing increasing numbers of people. Currently across the world, the number of refugees has neared 275 million, the number of displaced people 85 million, and the number of refugees 30 million. The conflicts between Russia and Ukraine have added 5 million more people to the existing refugees. We unfortunately witness many tragic scenes amid this human mobility. The journeys that start with the hope of fleeing persecution, oppression and famine and building a safe future sometimes end in disaster.”
Underscoring that nearly 30 thousand people, most of them women and children, have lost their lives in the Mediterranean in the recent period, President Erdoğan noted that the abductors, whereabouts and future of thousands of Syrian children taking refuge in Europe are unknown.
Drawing attention to the tragedies of refugees that are oppressed and beaten up and even massacred by the Greek security forces, President Erdoğan said: “Actually, it is countries like ours that neighbor the crisis regions rather than vociferous developed nations that shoulder the main burden on the migration and refugee issue.”
“NO ONE CAN EVADE THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES”
President Erdoğan stated: “According to the United Nations’ data, high-income countries host 2.7 refugees per 1,000 of population on average, while middle and low-income countries host 5.8 refugees. Those using a few hundred refugees they have taken as a promotion tool assume no responsibility in the face of increasingly deepening humanitarian crises. As a country located at the intersection of continents and cultures, migration has throughout history been a part of our social life. We have opened our doors to millions of persecuted people over the past 500 years, particularly the Jews fleeing from the inquisition. Our brothers and sisters in the Caucasia and our kinsmen in the Balkans have always taken shelter in Türkiye as a safe harbor whenever they are in trouble as well. Just as we protected our hundreds and thousands of Kurdish brothers and sisters who had fled Iraq in the First Gulf War, we have admitted 3.6 million Syrian refugees fleeing the conflicts in Syria to our lands. We have not turned down anyone who has come to our doorstep due to their ethnic identity, religion, culture, disposition, or sect. Our country has been home to the highest number of refugees in the world for the past 7 years. We will inshallah continue to fulfill this responsibility placed on us by our history, culture and faith. Today, amid the second greatest human mobility after the Second World War, no one can evade their responsibilities.”