German Development Minister Gerd Müller was in Turkey on Friday, in the first visit by a cabinet minister from Germany since the July 15 coup attempt.
Müller met Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya in a low-profile meeting in Ankara before traveling to Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey where refugee camps for displaced Syrians are located.
Müller's visit concentrates on Germany's assistance for refugees in Turkey, who is currently hosting nearly 3 million from war-torn Syria, its southern neighbor.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Müller hailed the Turkish-German friendship and said they discussed a German proposal to build schools that would provide education both to Turkish children and refugee children in Turkey. He said the Turkish minister would also pay a visit soon to Germany where Turks constitute the largest ethnic community.
Germany is among the countries providing funds for refugee education, employment programs and other activities for refugees in Turkey. A state-funded agency has recently signed a deal with a Turkish university to teach the Turkish language to 1,200 Syrian refugees in Turkey in an effort to better their integration into society.
The European Union (EU) was criticized by Ankara for their little support to address the refugees' needs. Müller said the EU should provide more effective and faster aid for refugees in Turkey and should accelerate the implementation of projects for refugees.
Turkey has been applauded by the international community for taking care of Syrian refugees, and is the largest recipient of the refugees in its region. Still, the developing country faces an immense financial burden of helping its "guests," as Ankara officially calls refugees. With the war in Syria reaching its fifth year, the government is striving to reach the so-called "lost generation" of refugees.