Erdogan on Refugee Resettlement Project: They Say ‘Very Nice,’ but Where is the Money?

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  • November 1, 2019
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The President has called on the international community to give financial support to his plan to resettle millions of refugees in northern Syria.

Turkey might build a "city of refugees" in northern Syria on its own if it does not receive international financial support, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

He said that he will talk to the UN Secretary-General today (November 1) about Ankara's plan to resettle up to two million refugees in northern Syria, speaking at the 6th Assembly of Turkish Medical World in Istanbul.

Recalling his speech at the UN General Assembly in late September, Erdogan remarked, "We made our plans and prepared our projects. I presented these in the meetings with the leaders at the UN General Assembly. They look at the booklet and say, 'Very nice'. But money? When it comes to money, it's all silence. These cannot be done without money. We will make this together."

Turkey launched a military operation into Syria on October 9 to capture areas extending more than 400 kilometers along the border to create a "safe zone" and send refugees there.

After taking control of some 100-kilometer part of that area, Turkey stopped the offensive on October 17 as it reached agreements with the US and then Russia for the withdrawal of the YPG.

"I will present this exact plan to [the UN Secretary-General]. I will tell him, 'You make a call for a meeting of international donors. If you don't do it, I will make this call.'

"If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't happen, we will build the city or cities of refugees between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn," Erdogan said, referring to the area under Turkey's control. Turkey also controls the area in northwestern Syria from Afrin to Jarablus.

The President also noted that the EU has so far given three billion Euro to civil society organizations for Syrian refugees in Turkey, while Turkey has spent more than 40 billion US dollars in the last eight-and-a-half years. "Are we richer than the EU?" he asked.

Source: English Bianet