Türkiye creating infrastructure for voluntary return of Syrian refugees: President Erdogan

Türkiye creating infrastructure for voluntary return of Syrian refugees: President Erdogan

With support of Qatar, houses for 1M refugees being built in Syria, says Recep Tayyip Erdogan

By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA (AA) – Ankara is currently working on the voluntary return of Syrian refugees in Türkiye to their country, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

"We built briquette houses in northern Syria. We did this not only as a state, but together with non-governmental organizations.

"Moreover, with the support of Qatar, the work to build houses in Syria, which can accommodate 1 million refugees, continues. Yesterday, (Turkish) Interior Minister (Suleyman Soylu) launched the groundbreaking ceremony," Erdogan said at an event in Istanbul.

He added: "We have created and are building the infrastructure for the voluntary return of Syrians in Türkiye (to their country)."

The president said that these efforts should have a "humane, conscientious and Islamic" aspect, stressing that Türkiye cannot send back Syrians "by using force."

Soylu on Wednesday attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the “Voluntary, Safe, Honorable Return Project” in the northern Syria district of Jarablus, where he said a total of 240,000 houses will be constructed at nine separate locations across the Idlib and Afrin regions over the course of the next three years.

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

Following the start of a civil war in Syria in 2011, Türkiye adopted an "open-door" policy for Syrians fleeing persecution and brutality.

Syria has been embroiled in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Bashar al-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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