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A major change in Turkey’s Syrian refugee policy

19 16 12

“Operation Olive Branch” in Syria’s Afrin district has revealed yet another major change in Turkey’s long-standing refugee policy towards the 3.5 million Syrians who have taken shelter on Turkish soil since our southern neighbor collapsed.

A high-level security summit, convened in the Turkish capital on Jan. 23, came to an important conclusion: “Our operations will continue until the separatist terror organization is fully cleared from the region and around 3.5 million Syrians who are now sheltered in Turkey are able to safely return to their homeland.”

This line was later repeated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who vowed to create the necessary humanitarian conditions, complete with infrastructure and superstructure facilities, in “areas cleared of terrorists,” so that all Syrians could return to their homes.

The fact that around 100,000 Syrians have been able to return to Jarablus from Turkey as a result of Operation Euphrates Shield is highlighted by the Turkish government as an important precedent to this end.

This change on Syrian refugees marks an important U-turn for the Turkish government.

Turkey has long been providing the best conditions for the millions of displaced Syrians with a generosity to the tune of $30 billion, as repeatedly stressed by the government. Around 300,000 Syrians........

© Hürriyet Daily News