Turkey is hosting around 4 million refugees and has already spent $40 billion on them, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, recalling that his country is the top nation in providing humanitarian assistance to refugees and the least developed nations.
“The world’s most powerful countries argue that they are No. 1 (in providing assistance). No, you are not No. 1. It’s Turkey which lends the biggest support to the refugees and the least developed countries,” President Erdoğan said in a speech at the second International Ombudsman Conference on Nov. 18 in Istanbul.
“Not only the figures I have but also the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) figures point out this fact,” he said.
The European Union has provided some 3 billion euros in assistance to Syrian refugees through Turkish non-governmental organizations, Erdoğan said, slamming Brussels for not doing enough for those who had to flee the civil war in Syria.
Turkey has always kept its gates open to Syrian refugees and will continue to do so, the president stressed, vowing that it will never allow them to return to the places being bombed by the Syrian regime.
He also slammed indirectly the United States for its plans to seize control of oil fields in Syria.
“Somebody is in the effort of oil sharing. This was proposed to us as well. ‘Our care is not for the oil but for the humans,’ we told them. At a time when many countries do not hesitate in partnering with the terror organizations for oil or political gains, we continue our honorable stance,” Erdoğan stated.
The president underlined that Turkey’s fight against multiple terror organizations continues despite criticism by many nations of Turkey’s legitimate right to secure its borders. “We are not just trying to let these terrorists stay away from us, but we destroy them in their nests. We are in a struggle against all the terror organizations that pose a threat to the world and our country from the Daesh (ISIL) to al-Qaeda, from the PKK/YPG to FETÖ,” he stated.
Hurriyet Daily News