by Daily Sabah with Agencies
Feb 08, 2016 12:00 am
Speaking after the weekly cabinet meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş stated Monday that Turkey would care for Syrians outside of the country "as much as possible" while a fresh influx of 600,000 refugees arriving at its border would be a "worst-case scenario".
Kurtulmuş said some 77,000 Syrians are being given assistance in displaced persons camps in Syria along the border with Turkey, including those who arrived recently.
With 200,000 refugees that have moved from areas near Aleppo towards the Turkish border so far, Kurtulmuş said that Turkey is on alert as the fierce fighting in Syria's Aleppo could prompt a mass immigration.
"As a consequence of this situation, we are seeing 200,000 people being forced to flee -- 65,000 in the direction of Turkey and 135,000 inside Syria," Kurtulmuş said.
Kurtulmuş also added that Turkey's goal is to keep fleeing Syrians within the borders of their own country and provide them with as much as assistance there.
The fighting in the north of Aleppo province - sparked by a week-long Syrian regime onslaught with Russian air support- has forced tens of thousands of Syrians to mass at the Turkish border in recent days. The border has been closed for a fourth day.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said earlier Monday that some 30,000 people were already massed at the Turkish border.
The Turkish government has insisted for several days that its open-door policy to refugees fleeing the Syrian war remains unchanged and that it is ready, if necessary, to accommodate a new wave of arrivals.
"Obviously, as always, we will provide for our Syrian brothers and accept them when necessary," Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
But he added that his country, which is hosting some 2.7 million Syrian refugees, should not be expected "to shoulder the refugee issue alone."