Turkey to rebuild areas liberated from terrorists in Syria


Environment and Urbanization Minister Mehmet Özhaseki has said that Turkey will immediately begin the rebuilding process of liberated regions in Syria.

"When the terrorists are neutralized, the reconstruction will begin, then all of the Syrians who were driven from their homes will slowly return," Özhaseki said in his interview with the Milliyet daily on Tuesday.

He said that Turkey will clear regions in Syria of trenches and mines when the war ends and give the territory to the "real owners."

Since the war erupted in neighboring Syria, Turkey has accelerated efforts to ease the suffering of Syrian civilians. Turkey has also been following an open-door policy for the Syrian refugees and has taken in the highest number of Syrian refugees in the world.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20, against the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) to remove terrorist elements along the Syrian border. A total of 1,100 square kilometers has been cleared from the threat of terrorism so far. On Tuesday, the city of Afrin was mostly encircled by Turkish and FSA forces. Prior to the Afrin operation, TSK launched the Operation Euphrates Shield against Daesh to neutralize terrorist elements in al-Bab, al-Rai, Dabiq and Jarablus. Turkey cleared the area and substantially contributed to the rebuilding process, enabling the return of Syrians in the areas cleared in the operation, during which 1,900 square kilometers was cleared of Daesh and more than 100,000 refugees returned. The Turkish government rebuilt over 400 damaged schools in Aleppo, where Jarablus is located, enabling 152,000 children to go back to school. The "Jarablus model" is expected to be applied in other liberated areas.

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