Message of Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Ömer Çelik on the Occasion of International Migrants Day

Migration is as old as history of mankind. Economic conditions, natural disasters, wars, conflicts, terror and famine have forced mankind to migrate throughout history.

When the UN General Assembly proclaimed 18 December as International Migrants Day in 2000, no one could have expected a migration crisis at such a large scale that the world is facing today.

Today, the world has to deal with the most serious migrant flow since the World War II. People from Syria and other conflict zones are escaping due to conflicts and terror. Millions of Syrians have been displaced internally or externally. In addition to this, millions of Iraqis, Yemenis and Libyans had to migrate due to conditions in their countries.

By providing protection to more than 3 million refugees, Turkey has become a home for the largest refugee population in the world. Due to the crisis in Syria, Turkey hosts more than 2,7 million Syrians. More than half of the Syrians who left Syria now reside in Turkey. Turkish people extend a globally unprecedented hospitality to all the migrants in Turkey.

Turkey granted temporary protection status to all Syrians in Turkey. Syrians under temporary protection are also provided with free of charge health and education services. Also, with the recent legislative arrangements, Syrians under temporary protection have the right to access to labour market.

Turkey has made and is still making tremendous efforts in order to minimise the impacts of the refugee crisis. However, the burden of the refugee crisis, has been laid on a just few countries and particularly on Turkey. A joint action by all countries and international organisations is needed to address this matter.

Preventing inhuman treatment of migrants who flee their countries under dire conditions is also an important responsibility of the international community.

Turkey's position based on humanitarian values that was materialised in accepting of 100 thousand people from Kobani in just one day irrespective of their ethnic or religious backgrounds sets a good example for the international community.

Turkey has become the primary target of terrorist organisations due to its principled stance based on values. Turkey, while losing its souls as martyrs at a terror attack in Kayseri, will continue its fight against terrorist organisations determinedly both in Turkey and Syria and will also stand by Aleppo people and all aggrieved ones who are subject to atrocities and terror.

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Last updated: 2016-12-18 11:34:32