ANKARA: Turkey will not be responsible for a migration wave in case of possible attacks on Syria’s Idlib, Turkish interior minister said today.
Suleyman Soylu was speaking to reporters in Yayladagi district of Turkey’s southern province of Hatay where he visited Turkmen people who had come from Syria’s Bayirbucak region.
“We care about humanity and we won’t give up. We (Turkey) will not be responsible for a migration wave in case of possible attacks (on Syria’s Idlib),” he said.
Soylu stated that Turkey is facing the largest migration issue because of the Syrian civil war. “We have taken necessary precautions,” he added.
The Syrian regime has recently announced plans to launch a major military offensive in the area, which has long been controlled by various armed opposition groups.
The UN warned earlier this week that such an offensive would lead to the “worst humanitarian catastrophe in the 21st century”.
“255,300 Syrians have returned to their homes over the past 2 years, 160,000 of them returned to Euphrates Shield region after Turkey brought peace there”, Soylu said.
“Today 3.55 million Syrians are living in Turkey and 185,000 of them are living in the camps,” Soylu said.
He noted that 4,500 Turkmen people from Bayirbucak are living in the camp in Yayladagi district. “They have been here for nearly seven years. They miss Turkmen Mountains and their homeland,” he said. The Turkmen Mountains in northwestern Syria’s Latakia falls within a network of de-escalation zones.