UK envoy: Turkey leads by example in integrating refugees


Turkey is a role model for the international community for its success in refugee integration, the U.K.'s envoy to Turkey Dominick Chilcott said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a panel discussion on the migration at the U.K. Embassy in Ankara, Chilcott stated that as the international community, they take lessons from Turkey in terms of how to deal with a refugee crisis, referring to Turkey's success in integrating refugees into health, education and other sectors.

"Almost 3 percent of the world population, 258 million people is having the status of international migrant," said the ambassador while adding that it is a matter of high importance for both Turkey and the U.K.

"65 million people in the world have migrated under coercion," Chilcott added.

Highlighting that Turkey's experiences on migration have changed over the years, he said that it was an emigrant country until 2010, and now, it is an immigrant-receiving country, due to, especially, being a transition country between Syria and other countries.

He further reminded that Turkey hosts the biggest refugee population in the world today with the total of 4 million people.

According to the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA), the number of Syrian refugees, who Turkish officials refer as "guests," has reached 3,506,532. Turkey has so far spent more than $30.2 billion on the well-being of this displaced population.

The conflict in Syria has killed more than 500,000 people and forced more than 5 million people to flee, while some 7 million remain internally displaced.

Refugees mainly took shelter in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon with Turkey hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees. Some of them have sought to reach Europe via the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, but hundreds died en route to Greece and other littoral countries.

Education is the main concern for refugees as youth and children make up the majority of Syrians taking shelter in Turkey.

Turkey has so far reached out to 612,603 Syrian children in its bid to provide them with education. They attend public schools, schools run by charities and schools set up at some refugee camps. Turkey has invested $15.4 billion on the refugees' education while investing $16.3 billion for the health services.

Ankara has often criticized the international community for not funneling sufficient humanitarian aid for the refugees in Turkey and not taking in more refugees.

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