By Buket Guven
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey hosts maximum number of refugees and is currently home to five million displaced people, including 3.6 million Syrians, Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Thursday.
Soylu held a meeting with his German counterpart Horst Seehofer, French counterpart Christophe Castaner and EU commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, in the capital Ankara.
Stressing that the Syrian refugee issue is a “big tragedy”, Soylu said the migration has been increasing in the region.
He added that Turkey was significantly affected by the migration, reminding the European countries that his country was hosting over five million refugees.
“Turkey displayed an exemplary behavior to the world, by both its [refugee] camps, harmony and hospitality,” Soylu said.
Last September, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone, where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the de-escalation zone.
The area is currently inhabited by about 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands of people, displaced in recent years by regime forces from cities and towns throughout the war-weary country.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN official.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar