Refugee wave will grow if situation in Syria gets worse: Turkey
The influx of migrants from Turkey towards Europe may continue if the situation in Idlib, Syria continues to worsen, Turkey warned on Friday.
"The latest developments in Idlib, which caused hundreds of thousands of people to be displaced, have further increased the current migration pressure on our country. These developments are followed by our people and the world, and also affect the refugees and migrants in our country," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said refugees in Turkey concerned by the latest developments have begun flocking towards Turkey's western borders, towards Europe.
"The risk will continue to rise if the situation gets worse," it said.
The ministry also stressed that Turkey has not changed its policy on humane treatment of migrants, as the country hosting the largest number of migrants in the world.
Saying that Europe broke its promise to help migrants in Turkey as well as help Turkey stem further migrant waves, Turkish officials announced earlier that they would no longer try to stop irregular migrants from reaching Europe.
The ministry statement comes amid a humanitarian crisis in Idlib, northwestern Syria that the International Committee of the Red Cross has called "deeply alarming," as attacks by the Assad regime and its allies have devastated local civilians.
The relentless attacks-in clear violation of a 2018 deal between Turkey and Russia prohibiting acts of aggression in Idlib-have sent upwards of a million fleeing refugees towards Turkey's southern borders.
Turkey, which already hosts some 3.7 million Syrian migrants, more than any country in the world, says it cannot absorb another refugee wave.
Since Turkey and Russia reached a deal on Idlib in 2018 under which acts of aggression are supposed to be prohibited there, over 1,300 civilians have been killed in the de-escalation zone, in violation of the deal.