Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that Turkey would not allow a new wave of refugees from Syria after the devastating earthquake that struck the region at dawn last Monday.
Cavusoglu’s statement came during a press conference on Monday in the Turkish capital, Ankara, commenting on allegations that “Syrians are flowing into Turkey following the earthquake,” Reuters reported.
“The allegations that there is a new influx of refugees from Syria to Turkey (after the earthquake) are not true, and we will not allow this, this is not discussed,” the Turkish minister said.
“Humanitarian aid to opposition-held areas of Syria is being delivered through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing. Turkey is ready to open two new border crossings from the Kilis area after the earthquake,” he said.
“All these border crossings are only for humanitarian aid, and this does not mean that Syrians are coming to Turkey through these crossings,” he said.
He pointed out that “Turkey facilitates humanitarian aid to Syrians but will not allow a new flow of Syrian refugees, as these are two separate issues.”
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Cavusoglu was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying, “We are very sad that we are wasting our energy responding to misinformation circulating on social media and various places in these difficult days we are going through. We need solidarity and cooperation more than ever.”
“Spreading false information in order to provoke the people is not an act in good faith,” he said. “The earthquake affected Syria as well, and the international community wants to help Syria while providing strong support to Turkey”.
“Those who were affected by the earthquake there are human beings, so some of the aid goes there directly by air, and we open our airspace to those planes. Secondly, the United Nations aid has been crossing the Bab al-Hawa crossing for years,” he said.
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.