News / Middle East

    EU to Ankara: You Must Help Refugees

    Internally displaced Syrians carry their belongings as they arrive at a refugee camp near the Bab al-Salam crossing, across from Turkey's Kilis province, on the outskirts of the northern border town of Azaz, Syria, Feb. 6, 2016.
    Internally displaced Syrians carry their belongings as they arrive at a refugee camp near the Bab al-Salam crossing, across from Turkey's Kilis province, on the outskirts of the northern border town of Azaz, Syria, Feb. 6, 2016.
    VOA News

    European Union officials are urging Turkey to open a border crossing where tens of thousands of Syrian civilians arrived this week fleeing a massive government offensive in Aleppo province.

    EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Saturday at a meeting with European foreign ministers and their Turkish counterpart that EU support for Turkey “is aimed exactly at guaranteeing'' that the country can handle the influx of refugees.

    "It's unquestionable... that the people coming from inside Syria are Syrians in need of international protection,” Mogherini said at the meeting in Amsterdam.

    Crossing remains closed

    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a Syria donors' conference in London two days earlier that Ankara would allow the refugees into the country. But tens of thousands of displaced civilians who arrived on the Syrian side of the Turkish border this week are stuck waiting, camped out in the desperate hope that Turkish officials will allow them to cross to safety.

    Turkey is providing humanitarian aid but has not opened the crossing, despite Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's comment Saturday that his government has an “open border policy” for people escaping military violence and Russian airstrikes. Media reports note that Turkey did let more than a dozen Syrians injured in bombings near Aleppo cross the border.

    Syria's official news agency SANA reported Friday that it had regained control of several towns in Aleppo, once the country's commercial hub and now a flashpoint for violence between government forces and opposition fighters.

    Turkey is host to an estimated 2 million Syrian refugees already, as Syria approaches the five-year anniversary of the start of its civil war.

    Syrians wait to enter Turkey at the Bab al-Salam border gate, Syria, Feb. 5, 2016.
    Syrians wait to enter Turkey at the Bab al-Salam border gate, Syria, Feb. 5, 2016.

    European pressure is on Turkey as the gateway for refugee access to Europe. In a $3.35 billion deal announced in November, the EU agreed to accelerate talks about Turkey’s long-sought accession to the bloc, in exchange for Ankara's help in managing the historic tide of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe in the past several years.

    Anti-migrant protests

    In Amsterdam on Saturday, police detained several people as groups of anti-migrant, anti-Muslim protesters faced off with left-wing opponents in a square near the capital’s city hall.

    Thousands of Czechs gathered for a similar rally in Prague, with protesters representing both support for and opposition to recent refugee arrivals.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    February 07, 2016 8:27 AM
    I offer eu to tell russia stop the bombing innocent people in syria. Turkey is not solution to open border for refugees.

    by: Ogre from: Moscow
    February 07, 2016 6:22 AM
    Refugees from Aleppo live in the suburbs of Damascus and planing to come back home.
    Those who have accumulated near the border with Turtsieey, mostly bearded pregnant woman, i.e. the militants of "moderate opposition" and their best friends from ISIS. Those who, like rats fleeing a sinking ship.

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    February 07, 2016 4:46 AM
    I've said it from the beginning that since ISIS is the creation of Turkey trying to recapture lands it lost after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, that all the refugees should stop in Turkey only!!!! Turkey created the situation, let them deal with it!

    by: anynmous from: usa
    February 07, 2016 3:02 AM
    Why Turkey ask Arab oil rich country to give helping hand to refugee? the flowing of refugee to Europe is conspiracy manipulated by radical Muslim group such as muslim brotherhood to invade Europe . the radical group want increase the Muslim population as an initial step to establish Islamic empire. since the population in Europe is decreasing and population in Islamic population is increasing dramatically . in addition , increase Muslim population will help the terrorist achieve their goal which is destroying the European society by Exhausting warfare . then the whole system will be in state of chaos . the same analogy in united state where Muslim brotherhood are planning their goal in secret . they taking of political system which is about to be broken by personal fighting such is who is more progressive ?and who is more conservative ?Both parties are down playing the danger of radical Islam which it is very danger

    by: Jonny Cash
    February 07, 2016 1:24 AM
    They need to stop bombing ,so this people can stay where they are,shameful

    by: williweb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
    February 06, 2016 6:00 PM
    Syria has been at war for 5 years but she keeps popping them out like it's business as usual. You just can't fix stupid.

    by: Anonymous
    February 06, 2016 5:39 PM
    A guide on who is who in Syria:

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: A Single Sunni refugee in London, biased against the Syrian Government

    FSA, Nusra Front, Turkmen Brigades: b.s names, used by the western media to avoid using AQ, since all these groups are AQ

    AQ in Syria is also called "moderate rebels", "opposition".

    The AQ (opposition) in the negotiations table, is misleadingly called High Negotiations Committee (HNC), where in fact it is a collection of AQ groups supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

    The Kurds are not invited to negotiations, because Turkey opposed the Kurds presence in the negotiations.

    The Syrian Government, Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and The Kurds: Fighting ISIS and AQ, not just ISIS, but ISIS and AQ (above-mentioned groups)

    Saudi Arabia and Turkey: support ISIS and AQ (the above-mentioned AQ groups and several more)

    The west, NATO and especially Britain and part of the US including presidential candidate Clinton: support Saudi Arabia and Turkey

    AQ in Syria are mostly foreign Chechens, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Tunisians, Saudis and Turks, imported by Turkey via Turkey into Syria.
    In Response

    by: 1worldnow from: Earth
    February 07, 2016 4:43 AM
    Well said, bravo. Funny how ISIS's recruits main entry point was Turkey and ISIS's main supply lines were from Turkey......yet.......Turkey claims no wrong-doing nor ties to ISIS.

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