Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Turkey Accuses SDF of Obstructing Voluntary Return of Syrian Refugees

Turkey Accuses SDF of Obstructing Voluntary Return of Syrian Refugees

Saturday, 21 May, 2022 - 08:30
A Syrian woman in a camp for displaced people in “Kafr Uruq” in Idlib governorate, northern Syria (Reuters)

Turkey accused the Kurdish forces in Syria of obstructing the return of Syrian refugees, noting that it had begun working with Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon to secure their “voluntary return.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed that his country will continue its war against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), the largest component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), while working to implement the plan for the voluntary and safe return of one million Syrians.

Speaking in an international migration review forum at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Cavusoglu confirmed that Turkish efforts had provided stability in the Syrian areas that were cleared of what he labeled as “terrorist organizations.”

So far, nearly 500,000 Syrians have returned to their areas, added the top diplomat.

The Turkish minister pointed out that attention should be paid to the factors causing displacement, such as economic and security struggles.

He stressed the need for a global and sustainable approach to encourage the voluntary, safe and dignified return of migrants.

Moreover, Cavusoglu pointed to Turkish efforts resulting in the completion of the construction of more than 57,000 housing units in northern Syria.

Turkey is targeting the building of 100,000 homes in northern Syria by the end of 2022, added Cavusoglu.

He called on the UN Security Council to renew the mechanism of cross-border humanitarian assistance to Syria, stressing its vital importance to about 2.4 million Syrians.

About 3.7 million Syrians live in Turkey, most of whom fled the war that Syria has been witnessing for over a decade.

Alll Syrian refugees in Turkey do not have the right to asylum. Instead, authorities granted them temporary protection cards.

For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had reaffirmed that his government won’t force the refugees to Syria.

Editor Picks