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Turkish parliament speaker calls for sharing refugee burden

Anadolu Agency TURKEY
Published June 20,2022

The Turkish parliament speaker on Monday urged the international community to share the burden of refugees.

"As the issue of migration is not Türkiye's problem, it is a great injustice that the material and moral burden of this problem should be placed only on Türkiye's shoulders," said Mustafa Şentop addressing the Global Parliamentary Conference on migration.

"It is a great injustice to try to put the burden of this problem on a few countries," Şentop added.

The two-day event, co-hosted by the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye and Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), kicked off in Istanbul as the annual World Refugee Day is being marked around the globe.

Noting that the refugee burden has not been shared fairly by the international community, Şentop said: "Those who caused it are turning their back on the problems they have caused. Türkiye is not a country responsible for this migration."

On Greece's treatment of refugees, Şentop said: "We see that our neighbor Greece does not hesitate to sink" refugee boats.

"We see that they do not refrain from introducing pushback policies," he added.

Şentop said that the European Union has also closed its eyes to this inhumane treatment.

"Unfortunately, push-back incidents that we have been facing in Europe in recent years have become a common practice," he added. "Türkiye has saved approximately 40,000 irregular migrants from push-backs in the Aegean Sea since 2020."

For his part, Duarte Pacheco, president of the IPU, thanked especially Turkish authorities as Türkiye hosts the largest refugee population in the world.

"Because they did all their best to receive these migrants as persons not as figures. And they do their best to integrate (these) migrants" with programs on education and job creation etc.

He also noted that these were "without support from the international community."