Turkey will continue to host civilians escaping from barrel bombs, regardless of the European Union or United Nations' unfulfilled pledges, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan affirmed yesterday at the 4th International Symposium on Ombudsman Institutions in Ankara. Addressing a large number of attendees, including government officials as well as international participants, President Erdoğan emphasized that, "Turkey is a safe land for those who are oppressed," while he also urged the EU and the U.N. Refugee Council to fulfill their promises.
The symposium, with a special focus on "migration and refugees," aims to spread awareness throughout the international community about the ongoing refugee crisis. The discussion included three main topics: "Refugee Policies of Countries," "The Most Vulnerable Group of Refugees: Women and Children," and "Xenophobia, Racism and Islamophobia in Relation to Migration." During the opening remarks of the two-day symposium in Ankara, President Erdoğan said: "We are currently sheltering and hosting 3 million Syrian and Iraqi refugees in our country. As of now, we have spent 26 billion dollars [on refugees]. Unfortunately, neither the EU nor the U.N. Refugee Council has fulfilled their promises. Whether they do or do not fulfill their promises, we will continue to host those people running from weapons, barrel bombs."
Stressing that Turkey will continue to be "a safe land for those oppressed," Erdoğan also criticized the international community and institutions for failing to "pass the test" in the refugee crisis. "The painful experiences over the last few years have shown that when Aleppo, Baghdad and Mosul are burning, Gaziantep, Brussels and Berlin cannot be in peace," he added. President Erdoğan further stressed once again that, "Terror must not be associated with Islam." While his remarks were applauded by the large crowd of attendees, Erdoğan stressed that, "Daesh does not have anything to do with Islam."
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