Syrian refugees gradually returning home: Turkish president

Syrian refugees gradually returning home: Turkish president

Türkiye built over 100,000 houses in northern Syria, says Recep Tayyip Erdogan

By Gozde Bayar

ANKARA (AA) - Syrian refugees have started returning to their country voluntarily, the Turkish president said on Thursday.

“We have built over 100,000 houses for them in northern Syria … Gradually, Syrian refugees began to settle in these residences,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at an event with the youth in Ankara.

Erdogan said Syrian people are facing life threats from terrorist organizations in their country, adding that their forceful return would amount to oppression.

“There is no time limit on this issue … We give our best to support and assist them in this regard,” he said.

More than 3.7 million Syrians currently reside in Türkiye, making it the world's top refugee-hosting country.

Following the start of a bloody civil war in Syria, Türkiye adopted an "open-door" policy for Syrians fleeing persecution and brutality.

Türkiye has ensured the voluntary return of an estimated 530,000 people to the safe zones in Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier.

Around 42,000 Syrians in Türkiye have returned to their home country across the border since the Feb. 6 earthquakes centered in Türkiye's southern region, according to officials.

Syria has been embroiled in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN estimates.

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