By Zuhal Demirci, Ugur Cil
The head of the EU delegation to Turkey on Tuesday praised Turkey for caring for millions of Syrian refugees during a concert here to commemorate World Refugee Day.
“Both the Turkish government and Turkish citizens did a good job in hosting the Syrian refugees,” Christian Berger said at the Modern Arts Center. “It is an extra burden and a great effort to host the highest number of refugees.”
Representatives from several diplomatic missions gathered at the concert organized by the Research Center on Asylum and Migration (IGAM) with the support of Turkey’s EU delegation, including Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara Philip Kosnett.
“It is an honor for me to pass on my gratitude on behalf of the United States to Turkey for opening your doors to refugees. We applaud the hosting countries that give vital contributions and their generosity,” Kosnett said.
IGAM President Metin Corabatir said the Syria issue would not be solved in the short-term. “We should find ways to live with over 3 million refugees together in Turkey.”
The concert was performed by Syrian children who sang songs in Turkish, Arabic and English.
Turkey has the largest refugee population in the world and is currently home to more than 3 million Syrians, according to official data.
That figure accounts for approximately 45 percent of all Syrian refugees in the region, the UN says.
An additional 300,000 refugees in the refgion are mostly from Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Somalia.