Turkey

UN refugee chief visits southeastern Turkey

Filippo Grandi meets governor of Sanliurfa, praises province for hosting more refugees than many countries

Esber Ayaydin   | 09.09.2021
UN refugee chief visits southeastern Turkey

SANLIURFA, Turkey

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Thursday visited Sanliurfa, a Turkish province bordering Syria that is hosting Syrian refugees. He is in Turkey to discuss migration and refugee-related subjects with Turkish authorities.

In a meeting with Governor Abdullah Erin, Grandi praised the southeastern province for hosting a large number of refugees, as compared to many other countries.

He said that countries accommodating fewer refugees and still complaining about it should learn from Turkey.

Pointing to the difficulties of hosting such a large population, the UN official said they "cannot thank you enough."

Grandi said his visit aims to understand what more they can do to support Turkey, which is hosting the refugees for the past 10 years.

Erin said the number of Syrians living in the province is almost one-quarter of its population. It is a pleasure to host "our Syrian brothers," he said.

"We have taken serious steps toward normalization of life so that they can stand on their own feet," he said, adding that Turkey has provided Syrians social, economic, health, education and training opportunities.

According to him, many NGOs are also working in the region, but international support would be beneficial.

Turkey hosts more refugees than any country in the world. After the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, it granted temporary protection status to those fleeing the conflict.

The UN high commissioner also met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday.

*Writing by Iclal Turan in Ankara

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