Updated: 11/12/2017

The Message of Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Ömer Çelik on the Occasion of World Refugee Day

The refugee problem is one of the most important humanitarian crises of our time. In particular, the wars and instabilities in our region cause this problem to grow and further increase its graveness.

Today, the world has to deal with the most serious migrant flow since World War II. In Syria alone, approximately 12 million people have been displaced internally or externally.

With more than 3 million refugees, Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world. More than half of 5 million externally displaced Syrians are in Turkey.

Turkey granted temporary protection status for all Syrians. Syrians in Turkey are provided with free health and education services. With the recent legal arrangement, their access to the labour market is also facilitated.

Turkey made tremendous efforts to minimize the impacts of the refugee crisis and continues to do so. Turkey does not make any concessions on its humanitarian approach. Turkey attributes great importance to the safety of the lives of migrants. The number of deaths in the Aegean Sea fell to a great extent thanks to the success of the Turkey-EU Statement of 18 March.

However, it is not fair to impose the burden of the refugee crisis to a few countries, mainly to Turkey. Migration is a matter that cannot be expressed or solved by focusing on numbers. It has become a major issue to be managed collaboratively by taking every aspect into account.

In the face of this crisis, all states and organizations should act jointly. Our expectation from the international community is that they approach the issue within the framework of burden-sharing and support our efforts. Turkey will continue resolutely to demonstrate a humanitarian and moral responsibility that sets an example to the rest of the world.

Although the importance of burden-sharing is obvious, the steps to be taken in this direction will only help to reduce the effects of the crisis. A political solution is necessary to end the refugee crisis that we are facing. As long as the conflicts and instability in the region are not over, it is clear that the crises brought about by these situations will continue.

Updated: 11/12/2017 / Hit: 6,229