The humanitarian crisis continues: Turkey is now home to nearly one million Syrian refugees
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the number of Syrian refugees in Turkey who have escaped the ongoing violence in their homeland has reached "almost one million.”
“Are we supposed to ask our brothers not to come, and to die in Syria?” Erdogan said as he addressed lawmakers from his Justice and Development Party in parliament on Tuesday.
The three-year conflict in Syria has sent millions of people fleeing to neighboring countries and beyond.
On April 13, Lebanese Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq voiced concern over the inflow of Syrian refugees into the tiny Arab country with depleted resources.
“Syrian refugees represent 27% of Lebanon's population, while in Jordan they number 10% of the population and in Turkey 4%,” he stated.
“The refugees are our people but we won't accept that they become the cause of a problem in Lebanon,” Mashnouq said, adding, the Lebanese government “does not have the assets or infrastructure to cope with these numbers.”
On April 3, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that the number of the Syrian refugees who have fled Syria and registered in Lebanon has exceeded one million.
UNHCR representative Ninette Kelley described the one million-figure as a “devastating marker.”
"Each one of these numbers represents a human life who, like us, have lives of their own, but who've lost their homes, they've lost their family members, have lost their future," Kelley said.
Syria has been the scene of a deadly crisis since March 2011. Reports say more than 150,000 people have so far been killed and millions of others displaced in the violence.