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Macedonian president praises Turkey over refugee policy

“Turkish people have shown their humanity by opening their doors to 4 million Syrians,” says Gjorge Ivanov

Nilay Kar   | 08.02.2019
Macedonian president praises Turkey over refugee policy

Ankara

By Semra Orkan

ISTANBUL

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov praised Turkey over its open-door policy during an event Thursday in Istanbul.

“Turkish people have shown their humanity by opening their doors to 4 million Syrians,” Ivanov said during a conference titled “Europe’s Bermuda Triangle, Changing Balances in Balkans and Turkey”.

“Turkey has also always opened its doors to migrants coming from the Caucasus and Balkans,” he said.

Blasting European countries over their stance on refugees, he said “Islamophobia has emerged when Europe has accepted 1 million asylum seekers”.

"But nobody asks Turkey how much money it’s spent for asylum seekers so far.”

Turkey hosts more Syrian refugees than any other country in the world.

The country has spent more than $32 billion from its own national resources for helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

Recalling the Ottoman Empire’s stance over people with different cultures and languages, Ivanov said “there was respect and understanding during the Ottoman Empire”.

“This meant respecting religions and traditions of different societies. This legacy has established Macedonia.”

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