Korea to build schools and medical centers for refugees in Turkey

ALI ÜNAL @ali_unal
Daily Sabah's Ali Ünal (Left) with Korean Ambassador to Ankara Mr. Yunsoo Cho (Right)
Daily Sabah's Ali Ünal (Left) with Korean Ambassador to Ankara Mr. Yunsoo Cho (Right)

The Republic of Korea is building schools and medical centers for Syrian refugees in Turkey, Korean Ambassador to Ankara Mr. Yunsoo Cho said on Wednesday. Speaking to members of the press in Ankara, Ambassador Cho said that Korea has always been in solidarity with Turkey. He added that they will build four schools and six medical centers, with an aim to support Turkey's efforts to provide education and health services to over 3 million refugees.

"Two of them in Gaziantep and two of them in Diyarbakır — in total we will build four schools for Syrian refugees. Construction of one of these schools, with a 1,000-student capacity, has been completed and we will hold the inauguration ceremony in October. In 2017, we will construct a total of six medical centers for Syrian refugees."

Ambassador Cho also added that apart from the Korean government, Korean companies are assisting within the framework of social responsibility projects. "Korean electronics company Samsung is currently constructing a hospital in Gaziantep with 1,900 inpatient beds," he added.

Touching upon the July 15 Gülenist coup attempt and the reaction of the Republic of Korea, Ambassador Cho reiterated that his country has always stood by the people of Turkey. "From the first moment, the Korean government strongly condemned the coup attempt and expressed their solidarity with Turkey's democratically elected government," he said.

Stating that in 2017 they will celebrate the 60th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations with Turkey, Ambassador Cho said that they will organize various events throughout the year, in celebration. The ambassador also pointed out that cultural programs will take place not only in Istanbul or Ankara, but also in smaller cities, in an effort to better engage with the Turkish people.

Turkey currently hosts more than 3 million refugees and there are 814,000 school-age Syrian children in Turkey. Of these, 340,000 received education last year. In the 2016-17 academic year, Turkey plans to provide education for up to 450,000 Syrian children.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down with unexpected ferocity on pro-democracy protests which erupted as part of the Arab Spring uprisings. Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-torn country, according to UN figures. The Syrian Center for Policy Research, however, has put the death toll from the six-year conflict at more than 470,000 people.

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