Erdogan’s Party Says It’s Getting Difficult to ‘Hold’ Refugees

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 03:02 pm

Turkey’s policy on Syrian refugees remains unchanged but it’s getting increasingly difficult to “hold” them, said Omer Celik, spokesman of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party, AKP.
“Our refugee policy is the same but there is a situation at hand. We’re not in a position to hold the refugees anymore,” Celik was cited as saying by Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu.

Celik’s comments came in the wake of an air strike in Syria that left at least 29 Turkish soldiers dead and wounded many others.

Hundreds of thousands of people in the rebel-held province of Idlib are headed to the Turkish border to escape military offensive by the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who have been aided by Russian air power. Turkish soldiers were stationed at several outposts in Idlib under a 2017 agreement with Russia and Iran to monitor a combat-free zone.

European Union governments fear the prospect that Turkey could send a new wave of refugees to their countries.