İYİ (Good) Party leader and presidential candidate Meral Akşener has vowed to send 4 million Syrian refugees residing in Turkey to Syria in the event she becomes president in the upcoming elections, stating Turkey needs to channel the $36 billion dollars spent on refugees on domestic economic development instead.
“They [ruling Justice and Development Party AKP] have intervened in Syria’s internal politics and then we had 4 million Syrian refugees. I feel sorry for them. All citizens are free and happy in their own country. After I am elected, my first action will be to fix our relations with Syria and to send the 4 million Syrian brothers and sisters back to their countries,” Akşener said at a public rally in the northwestern province of Bolu on June 19.
“The money spent on them is 150 billion Turkish Liras. It makes $36 billion U.S. dollars,” she said, adding that Turkey needs to use this money for industrial development and production.
Repeating the İYİ Party’s election promise to give 500 liras to every unemployed young citizen in Turkey and a 1,500 lira bonus to retired citizens on every religious holiday, Akşener said her government would be able to afford such expenses by changing the public spending policy.
“Agricultural production in Turkey has been decreased to $18 billion,” she said, criticizing the ruling AKP government of ill-managing economic development in Turkey.
The İYİ Party leader also accused AKP officials of wasting public sources for their individual benefit.
“All ministers and their relatives, everyone in the parliament, and undersecretaries have rental cars. Their rent costs 25,000 liras a month, which makes 8 billion liras. When I am elected, I will take away those cars,” she said, adding that the daily expense of the presidential complex will also be an expense she will use for the public income.
“We will invest $50 billion dollars in industry. We will decrease the 11 percent unemployment rate to 5.6 in 5 years,” Akşener said.
“Turkey’s sources and human potential are sufficient. Waste, bribery, and corruption are the sources of every evil. With God’s wish, we will cut them all the first day. It is treachery to rule the country with an understanding of abusing people by making them poor,” the İYİ party leader said.
In 2016, Turkey and the EU signed a deal aiming to stem the irregular migration flow through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving conditions for nearly three million Syrian refugees in Turkey, as the EU pledged to allocate 3 billion euros for spending on refugees.