Turkish Interior Minister: We’re Studying Cases of Syrians Coming to Turkey from Damascus Only

Ankara is determined to establish a residential area in northern Syria for Syrian refugees who want to return voluntarily, according to Syria TV.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu reiterated that Ankara is determined to establish a residential area in Jarablus, al-Bab, Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad in northern Syria for Syrian refugees who want to return voluntarily. 

Commenting on the project put forward by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Soylu added: “There will be commercial and industrial zones, schools, shopping centers and workshops, and they will also be given housing and will own it after five or ten years. They can visit Turkey after obtaining the necessary permits.” 

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He said in an interview with Syria TV that Ankara adheres to international laws, and there is no change in its policy towards Syrian refugees. He noted that “Turkey only checks people coming from the Damascus area, who are looking to improve their conditions without being subjected to war, displacement and coercion.”   

Soylu explained: “Those who came as refugees, especially in the status of temporary protection, were not forced by the Turkish authorities to deport, but asylum and temporary protection have international standards. The person who is a criminal, thief, disturber of public order and harasser, Turkey has the right to deport him outside the borders and return him as required by law.” He pointed out that “these procedures apply to Turkish citizens as well, and every foreigner is subject to the authority of these laws.”   

Regarding the Turkish government’s closure of the borders to refugees and preventing Syrians from entering Turkey in recent years, Soylu said: “Turkey hosts 3 million and 630 thousand refugees; it is the country that hosts the most refugees.” He noted that “instability at the borders and inside Syria affects Turkey, in terms of the position of terrorist organizations and waves of migration.” 


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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