Turkish Government Memorandum Regarding the Syrian Refugee Crisis

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TO: Osman Güneş, Deputy Minister of the Interior, Government of Turkey FROM: Tolgahan Pınarsayha, Political Advisor to the Government of Turkey DATE: 10/3/2012
SUBJECT: Addressing the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Summary

The Turkish Government has spent over $300 million providing for refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria [1]. As a neighboring country with important links to Syria through culture and religion alongside being a democratic country that recognizes international laws regarding refugees, Turkey has an obligation to continue to admit civilians from Syria into its southern provinces. By analyzing Turkey’s political ideals, its adherence to international laws and its ties to Syria and the Islamic world, I emphasize the Government’s duty towards addressing the refugee crisis above any other related issue (as will be further discussed) in this report.

Problems associated with the Government’s Allocation of Resources

Important issues that may have a bearing on Turkey’s provision of adequate resources to refugees include: its support for the Syrian rebels; lack of international action in Syria; and lack of international assistance to Turkey in providing aid and accommodation to refugees [1]. These issues may need to be addressed before the Government can completely fulfill its duty towards the safeguarding of innocent civilians.

Turkey’s Responsibility as a Regional Power

The border between Turkey and Syria stretches 877 km, and is for both countries the longest land border they share with a neighbor [2]. This is significant as the Turkish Government can expect to take in comparatively larger numbers of refugees with relation to Syria’s other border states. In the past

Our “responsibility” to accept refugees at arises from the fact that both Turkey and Syria share extensive historical, cultural and religious ties. Both are members of the OIC and are Muslim countries, and in the eyes of the Islamic world, Turkey has an automatic...
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