Turkey’s main opposition leader has promised to expel 3.5 million Syrian refugees and to reconnect with Bashar Al-Assad’s regime if he defeats President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the next election.
In a video posted to his Twitter account on Friday, Republican People’s Party (HDP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu announced his intention to reopen embassies in both countries, restore relations with Assad and return Syrian refugees. ” within two years “of their arrival. in power.
İktidarımızda Suriyeli misafirlerimizle helalleşip iki yılda memleketlerine uğurlayacağız. Bu iktidarımızın en önemli beş önceliğinden biridir. Plan ve programlarımız hazır. Bu video da bunun taahhüdü olarak burada dursun istedim. pic.twitter.com/5kE4csutCo
– Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) July 16, 2021
Kilicdaroglu blamed the presence of Syrians for “big complaints from citizens who have no jobs and no income.” He added that “bigger problems” that there are no solutions could be faced in the future.
“Go to Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri, Hatay, Gaziantep and Kilis, and you will find many of these widespread problems there,” he said. He cited as an example the south-eastern district of Sanliurfa where, according to him, Syrians work for half the wages of Turks and therefore take many jobs.
Kilicdaroglu’s announcement comes at a time when there have been numerous attacks on Syrian refugees in Turkey. Nationalist rhetoric blames the refugees for many of the country’s economic problems.
READ: Syrians in Turkey face greater economic challenges during pandemic
According to the head of the HDFP, however, this is not about racism. “The Syrians are close to us, but they will be happier on the soil where they were born, and for that we will work to send them there safely.”
It is not the first time that he has announced his intention to expel Syrians to their country of origin; he said the same thing last month. He also reiterated that the European Union (EU) would pay for the return of the Syrians, but presented no evidence or a roadmap showing how the bloc will proceed.
Condemning the EU for complaining about the crisis of refugees transiting through Turkey to Europe while failing to build infrastructure for the return of refugees, Kilicdaroglu said: “I told them [the EU]: Put your hands in your pockets and build schools, hospitals, infrastructure and roads, then we’ll send them back to their countries. “
He pointed out on Twitter that he was “nothing” like Erdogan. “No one can say that my country is an open prison for refugees. Let me tell you in advance, very difficult negotiations await you.”
My call to the world: I am nothing like Erdogan. I come from the Kuvayi Milliye tradition. No one can declare our soldiers as guardians where they fled; or declare my country a prison open to refugees. Let me tell you in advance, very difficult negotiations await you.
– Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (@kilicdarogluk) July 18, 2021
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