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Experts talk Syria’s reconstruction in Turkish capital

Experts talk Syria’s reconstruction in Turkish capital
Turkey's role in taking in Syrian refugees, helping distressed neighbor praised at Ankara event

By Zehra Nur Duz

ANKARA (AA) - Experts stressed Wednesday importance of the reconstruction process in Syria to prevent deepening of the crisis.

“It is obvious that the actors involved in the Syrian crisis have different plans and priorities in the process of reconstructing Syria's future,” Mucahit Ozdemir, acting chairman of the Ankara-based Middle East Foundation, told a panel on Syria.

The panel titled “Restructuring Syria: Challenges and Opportunities: Perspectives from Turkey, Taiwan and Syria” was hosted by the Middle East Foundation in collaboration with the Ankara Chamber of Commerce and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Mission in Ankara.

This process faces challenges such as political instability and the difficulty of providing economic resources, Ozdemir said.

“The existence of terrorist organizations in the region poses a serious obstacle to this process,” he added.

Ozdemir said that the civil war that started eight years ago in Syria affected not only Syria but also peace and stability in other countries in the region.

He also pointed out that the number of internally displaced persons has exceeded 6 million so far.

- 'Turkey example for Muslim world '

Yaser Cheng, representative of Taipei Economic and Cultural Mission in Ankara, also shared his observations on the Syrian reconstruction process.

He deeply praised the Turkish government and people saying: “Turkey is one of the countries who received the highest number of Syrian immigrants.”

“Turkey is an example of humanitarian aid for Muslim world,” Cheng said.

Cheng also criticized the indifference of Arab nations and Organization of the Islamic Cooperation toward solution of this humanitarian crisis.

Praising Taiwan's contribution to the crisis, Cheng underlined that so far the Thai Tzu-Chi Foundation has contributed $10 million to Syrian refugees in Istanbul’s Sultangazi district in areas such as schools and health centers.

“Our efforts on this issue will continue,” Cheng underlined.

Gursel Baran, head of Ankara Chamber of Commerce, said: “Embracing millions of Syrians, Turkey supports the territorial integrity of its southern neighbor."

Turkey currently hosts some 3.6 million Syrians, more than any other country in the world.

Turkey has been a main route for irregular migrants trying to cross to Europe, especially since 2011, the start of the Syrian civil war.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

According to UN figures, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed or displaced in the conflict, mainly by regime airstrikes in opposition-held areas.

source: News Feed
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