UNITED NATIONS – Turkey host more refugees than any other countries in the
world, but its doors will remain open, Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish prime
minister, told the United Nations (UN) General Assembly here Wednesday.
“Turkey now shelters the largest number of refugees in the world — and
our doors will remain open,” Davutoglu said at the annual high-level debate of
the UN General Assembly, which opened here Monday, China’s Xinhua news agency
Turkey is one of Syria’s neighbouring countries to receive a massive
influx of Syrian refugees in the wake of the Syrian conflict, which broke out in
Like many other heads of state and government addressing the 193-member
General Assembly, Davutoglu recalled Aylan Kurdi — the three-year-old Syrian
boy who drowned on the shores of Turkey earlier this year in his speech.
“The tragic story of the three-year-old Aylan should serve as a reminder
of what the UN should stand for,” said Davutoglu.
“It was just earlier this month, Aylan’s tiny, lifeless body washed ashore,
after their boat capsized in the Aegean Sea.”
Davutoglu added that Aylan’s family was trying to escape indiscriminate
barrel bombs in Syria and were hoping to find an imagined land of hope, anywhere
“The Turkish gendarmerie officer who found Aylan told, rather than an
officer on duty, he felt like the little boy’s father, holding helplessly his
beloved one,” he said.
“Indeed, Aylan was our baby, each one of us and of all humanity. And the
moment we found him, washed lifeless ashore, we all were lost in the misery of
our own conscience,” he added.
Davutoglu said that Turkey has now provided protection to more than two
million Syrians and 200,000 Iraqis.
He added that his country has invested almost 8 billion dollars to help the
refugees, but had received international support of only 417 million dollars.
“Our generation has witnessed the highest number of refugees and
internally displayed persons since the Second World War,” the prime minister
added. – BERNAMA