The leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said the country contributed to the expansion of the Syrian conflict. Kemal Kilicdaroglu was addressing delegates at an international conference on Syria in Istanbul on Saturday.
“While Turkey was a reputable and powerful country with the capacity of putting the fire off in our region, it has been the reason for that fire to expand in our neighbouring countries with its wrong foreign policies,”said Kilicdaroglu.
The UN estimates that Turkey is hosting more than three and a half million people who escaped the violence in Syria.
The administration of a city in which the refugee numbers came to one million cannot behave like there is nothing going on. Unfortunately, this is what has happened. Therefore we cannot act in the same way. Not only in Istanbul and Turkey, but wherever they go Syrian refugees are facing big and deep problems. Economic difficulties, unemployment, integration, education, health, discrimination and sadly hatred are the most common problems they face,” said Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu.
Organisers say that the conference is not aimed at offering alternative ways to international peace efforts in Syria but making a contribution to those attempts.