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Korhan Karakoç: Return of Syrian Refugees at the End of Political Process

Turkey says it regards the attainment of a solution in Syria in accordance with United Nations resolutions as a primary objective, according to Syria TV.
Korhan Karakoç: Return of Syrian Refugees at the End of Political Process

On Sunday, Ambassador Kurhan Karakoç, the Director General of the Syrian issue at the Turkish Foreign Ministry, emphasized that the repatriation of Syrian refugees hinges on the culmination of the political process. These statements were made during the Syrian Negotiation Commission meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland. Karakóc highlighted Turkey’s participation in the meeting, demonstrating its unwavering support for the Commission and its commitment to facilitating a political resolution in Syria.

Furthermore, the ambassador underscored that Turkey regards the attainment of a solution in Syria in accordance with United Nations resolutions as a primary objective. Karaköc pointed out that the ongoing quadripartite meetings in Moscow, involving Turkey, the Syrian regime, Iran, and Russia, are being conducted in close coordination with the Syrian opposition.

Recently, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin clarified that there is currently no fixed date for the commencement of Syrian refugee repatriation from Turkey to their home country. During an interview with Haberturk, Kalin stated, “At this time, there is no specific scheduled date, but it remains within the realm of possibility. The timeline depends on the progress of the process.”

Erdogan’s Refugee Conundrum

Kalin emphasized the humane aspect of the issue, expressing Turkey’s desire for the refugees to return. He assured that reasonable and compassionate measures will be taken to facilitate their repatriation.

Furthermore, Kalin highlighted three crucial matters on the agenda for the upcoming Moscow meeting. These include the fight against terrorism, the repatriation of refugees to their places of origin, and advancing the Constitutional Committee negotiations between the regime and the Syrian opposition.

It is worth noting that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, after his election victory, mentioned that his government, with support from Qatar, is actively working on a plan to “voluntarily” repatriate one million Syrian refugees within a few years.  

Erdogan emphasized that the safe and voluntary repatriation of Syrian refugees is a significant aspect of his government’s policy. He highlighted the government’s efforts in facilitating the return of approximately 600,000 individuals to designated “safe zones” within Syria.

Additionally, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu emphasized that Turkey’s objective is to enable the return of Syrian refugees not only to secure regions in northern Syria but also to areas under the control of the Syrian regime. The aim is to create conditions that allow refugees to return safely to their homes regardless of the specific location within Syria.

Erdogan’s new government 

On Saturday evening, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the composition of his new government, with notable appointments including Hakan Fidan, the former intelligence chief, as the new foreign minister, and Yasar Guler, the former chief of staff, as the defence minister.

Both Fidan and Guler possess direct involvement in the Syrian conflict, particularly in matters related to security and intelligence. Fidan, in particular, played a crucial role in leading intelligence talks with the Syrian regime, which subsequently progressed to higher-level discussions involving defence and foreign ministers under the auspices of Russia.

Fidan is expected to continue the path of normalization that he initiated, working in close coordination with the Ministry of Defense and intelligence services. His focus will be on addressing the security and military aspects in Syria, especially considering Ankara’s assertion that the matter of their withdrawal from northern Syria is not currently under consideration.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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