Kilicdaroglu renews pledge to deport Syrian refugees within 2 years

DAMASCUS, Syria (North Press) – Turkish opposition presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu, pledged on Monday, during an election rally in Kirikkale, to deport all Syrian refugees within two years if he wins the elections.

“All Syrians will be deported within two years,” Kilicdaroglu said, adding that Afghans, Syrians and other migrants continue to cross the Turkish border.

He said he would fulfil his promise by meeting all the needs of the Syrians and ensuring the safety of their lives and property. According to the leader, the potential return would be funded by the European Union and Turkish contractors.

Turkey houses around 3.8 million Syrian refugees, making it the world’s largest refugee-hosting country.

Amid growing anti-refugee sentiment in Turkey, Syrian refugees have become a tool exploited by both the government of the current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his opposition to win the elections due on May 14.

Unlike the opposition, Erdogan has used more soft language, saying he would encourage the “voluntary return” of these refugees, despite reports that suggest otherwise.

Reporting by Saad al-Yaziji