The continuation of the political process over Syria is a must to overcome the refugee crisis emerging from the war-torn country, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said
The key to ending the refugee crisis is to end the Syrian civil war, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Wednesday, underlining the importance of continuing the political process to come up with a solution to the eight-year-long conflict.
“The solution to the refugee crisis, which originated from Syria, depends on ending the Syrian Civil War. That’s why we (as Turkey), while hosting refugees, are also doing our best to find a political solution,” Erdoğan said, responding to journalists’ questions in Geneva, where he attended the UNHCR’s Global Refugee Forum before heading to Malaysia.
Recalling the Astana and Geneva processes and Turkey’s efforts in both political forums, the president said that Turkey’s main priority is to end terrorism by preserving the territorial integrity of Syria and by doing so, enable Syrians to return to their homes “voluntarily, safely and in an honorable way.”
“For this purpose, the formation of a safe zone is crucial,” he emphasized. “Regarding our call for the establishment of the safe zone (to the international community), even the strongest, most credible economies in the world did not say ‘we are in’ yet. We are waiting for a response but there is nothing,” Erdoğan expressed, underlining his wish to form a safe zone 120 kilometers long and 32 kilometers deep in northern Syria.
According to the safe zone plan, 140 villages and 10 district centers will be established within the 30- to 40-kilometer deep safe zone in northern Syria, housing 5,000 and 30,000 inhabitants, respectively. The settlements will be provided with various facilities so the people living there will be able to have a normal life with every necessity met.
By establishing a safe zone in northern Syria, Turkey hopes to resettle displaced Syrians currently living in the country and get rid of the PKK and its Syrian affiliate, YPG terrorists, in the region.
The president also highlighted that preserving security in the region will be an integral part of the formation of a safe zone.