By Burak Bir
ANKARA (AA) - Today there are more than 68.5 million forcibly displaced people, 26 million refugees, and 3 million asylum seekers worldwide clinging to life, said Turkey’s president on Thursday.
"Helping these people fleeing hunger, conflict, civil war, and poverty at the risk of death is a requirement of human dignity and conscience," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a message marking World Refugee Day.
Criticizing the international community’s negative attitudes towards refugees, Erdogan decried rising discrimination, xenophobia, and racism towards refugees from the media and populist politicians, especially in Western countries.
Erdogan said that Turkey hosts more than 4 million refugees, including 3.6 million Syrians, more than any other country in the world.
"Regardless of their ethnicity, religion, origin, or language, Turkey, as throughout its history, protects all the oppressed and victims," he added.
"No one has the right to cast a shadow over the Turkish people's generosity by inciting hostility towards refugees for the sake of political ambitions or ideological obsessions," he said.