Turkish FM: We will Not Deport All Syrians

Syrian refugees of the second contingent of people affected by the earthquake in Türkiye on 06 February 2023 arrive on a plane from Istanbul (Türkiye) to Torrejon de Ardoz' military air base in Madrid province, central Spain, 19 May 2023. (EPA)
Syrian refugees of the second contingent of people affected by the earthquake in Türkiye on 06 February 2023 arrive on a plane from Istanbul (Türkiye) to Torrejon de Ardoz' military air base in Madrid province, central Spain, 19 May 2023. (EPA)
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Turkish FM: We will Not Deport All Syrians

Syrian refugees of the second contingent of people affected by the earthquake in Türkiye on 06 February 2023 arrive on a plane from Istanbul (Türkiye) to Torrejon de Ardoz' military air base in Madrid province, central Spain, 19 May 2023. (EPA)
Syrian refugees of the second contingent of people affected by the earthquake in Türkiye on 06 February 2023 arrive on a plane from Istanbul (Türkiye) to Torrejon de Ardoz' military air base in Madrid province, central Spain, 19 May 2023. (EPA)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu ruled out the return of all Syrian refugees to their country, even if Ankara normalizes relations with Damascus, citing Türkiye's need for manpower in certain sectors, especially the agricultural and industrial sectors.

Cavusoglu said it wouldn't be accurate to claim that Türkiye will return all Syrians to the country.

"Türkiye currently needs laborers in sectors like agriculture, industry, and retail."

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians work in many sectors in Türkiye at less than the minimum wage without additional costs such as social and health insurance.

Many factory and business owners have opposed the Syrians' departure because they are a less expensive alternative for the Turks.

Syrian businessmen contributed to revitalizing the economy of some Turkish regions, especially border states, such as Gaziantep, where they established factories and workshops.

Cavusoglu said in a televised interview that Türkiye had taken the necessary measures on its borders with Syria and Iran and that the immigration problem could not be solved by "hate speeches or populism."

"Around 550,000 Syrians have returned to their country, which is not enough," he explained.

"More of them must return. We have entered into a dialogue with the Damascus regime in this regard and decided to establish the infrastructure for this return."

More Syrians must be returned to the safe areas and areas under Assad's control, added Cavusoglu.

"We are determined to send (Syrians) back, but we need to do it honorably," he stressed.

"We are developing a roadmap that also includes reviving the political process, cleansing Syria from terrorism, and ensuring the safe return of refugees. Syrians do not want to return to areas where terrorism exists, such as areas controlled by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)," said the official.

Türkiye is heading for a decisive runoff vote on Sunday after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could not win the presidential race in the first round. He will face the leader of the main opposition CHP, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, in the runoff.

Ahead of the runoff, Kilicdaroglu stated that Türkiye would deport 10 million refugees and immigrants immediately if he wins the polls.

He had adopted a less harsh tone before the first round of the elections, saying the Syrians would be returned to their country within two years through negotiations with the Syrian government, European Union, and United Nations to ensure their voluntary and safe return.

Studies have indicated that 75 percent of Turkish people oppose the presence of refugees and foreigners in the country.

Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu have exploited the Syrian refugee file throughout their electoral campaigns.

Erdogan spoke a few days ago about the return of more than a million refugees to the areas controlled by Türkiye and its allied factions of the Syrian National Army (SNA) in northern Syria.



Palestinian Authority at Risk of Collapse, Norway Says

Foreign Minister of Norway Espen Barth Eide attends the annual Kultaranta Talks -debate session on foreign and security policy at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland June 13, 2024. (Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander via Reuters)
Foreign Minister of Norway Espen Barth Eide attends the annual Kultaranta Talks -debate session on foreign and security policy at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland June 13, 2024. (Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander via Reuters)
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Palestinian Authority at Risk of Collapse, Norway Says

Foreign Minister of Norway Espen Barth Eide attends the annual Kultaranta Talks -debate session on foreign and security policy at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland June 13, 2024. (Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander via Reuters)
Foreign Minister of Norway Espen Barth Eide attends the annual Kultaranta Talks -debate session on foreign and security policy at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland June 13, 2024. (Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander via Reuters)

The Palestinian Authority could collapse in the coming months, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said on Monday, citing a lack of funding, continuing violence and the fact that half a million Palestinians are not allowed to work in Israel.

"The situation is extremely dire. The Palestinian Authority, with whom we work closely, are warning us that they might be collapsing this summer," Barth Eide told Reuters.

"If it collapses, you could end up having another Gaza, which would be terrible for everybody, including the people of Israel," he added.

Norway chairs the international donor group to the Palestinians and is a backer of the PA.