80,000 Syrian migrants marching to Turkey, says Erdogan
Ankara will not bear their burden all alone, Turkish president says
More than 80,000 migrants fleeing the bombings from Syria's Idlib have started to migrate toward the Turkish border, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.
"In such a case, Turkey will not bear all alone the burden of this migration," Erdogan said, speaking at an event in Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul.
"If violence against the people of Idlib does not end, this number will rise further," he added.
The Turkish president went on to say that the negative reflections of the pressure that Turkey might be exposed to will be an issue that will be felt by all European countries, especially Greece.
He reiterated that Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees and is a country which spends the most on humanitarian aid per capita.
Erdogan said that Turkey along with Russia is making all-out efforts to end the attacks in Idlib.
In this regard, he said, Ankara will send a delegation for discussions to Moscow on Monday.
"We will determine the steps we will take according to the results," he added.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
Since then, more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone as the cease-fire continues to be violated.
If aggression by the regime and its allies continues, Turkey and the Europe face the risk of another refugee influx.
Over a million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border following intense attacks.
Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in over 3.6 million Syrians who fled their country, making Turkey the world’s top refugee-hosting country.
Ankara has so far spent $40 billion for the refugees, according to official figures.