Turkey has been providing and continues to provide the best care and protection to more than 3 million Syrian refugees in the country, attendees of a UK parliamentary event heard Wednesday.
The event, held by the Yunus Emre Institute, looked at the work done by the Turkish government and Turkish and international NGOs in accepting Syrian refugees and integrating them into Turkish society.
The session was hosted by Matthew Saltmarsh, a senior external relations officer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Abby Dwommoh, a public information officer and spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Ibrahim Vurgun Kavlak, general coordinator at the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM).
“When I give presentations like this, I often ask the audience… Which country is the largest host of refugees in the world?” Saltmarsh began as the first speaker of the session.
“And the answer is varied, but very rarely is it Turkey…So that’s a fact that is surprisingly little known, I think, in the world. And of course, no country has done more to shelter the homeless and shocked population of Syria than Turkey,” he said.
Saltmarsh also praised Turkey’s parliament for passing the Temporary Protection Regulation in 2014 which allows Syrian nationals to be admitted into Turkey, apply to the Turkish government for protection and prevents them from being sent back to Syria as well as granting them a number of rights such as free healthcare and education and the right to work.
“Where Turkey differs slightly from the other countries in the region is that the government very much takes the lead in the refugee response, coordinating the efforts of the UN agencies,” Saltmarsh said, praising the Turkish government’s handling of the refugee crisis.
Regarding the work of international NGOs in Turkey, Dwommoh said “we are proud to be in a partnership with the Turkish government in providing aid and assistance to refugees, both Syrian and non-Syrian alike,” adding that the IOM “has helped set up centers along the southeastern region of Turkey with the assistance of the Turkish government”.
According to the UNHCR, Turkey hosts up to 3.6 million Syrian refugees as well as hundreds of thousands from Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq, a figure that represents 4 percent of the Turkish population.
Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees in the world and spends more per capita GDP on the wellbeing of refugees than any other nation in the world.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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