Syrian journalists commend Turkish support for refugees

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Alaaddin Husso, director of the Fajr radio station, which was established by Syrian refugees in Turkey's Gaziantep province, said Monday that all the countries that had intervened in Syria were “colonialist” — with the exception of Turkey.

Syrian journalists, who were hosted in Istanbul this week for a forum along with dozens of their Arab counterparts, shared their views on Turkey's policy of helping Syrian refugees after visiting the border province of Gaziantep.

Husso noted that Syrian journalists had conducted surveys to understand Turkey and the integration of Syrian refugees into the host country, saying Ankara was one of the region’s only capitals that did not harbor ill intentions towards Syria.

Referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's “The world is bigger than five” mantra, Husso said the destruction of the current global system would begin in Syria — and that therefore the global powers wanted the Syria conflict to continue.

“Turkey is our hope. Should there be stability in this region, we will find peace; without Turkey, we can't find anything,” he said.

“We, as Syrian journalists and writers, want Turkey to conduct all operations in Syria… and pass the experience on to the Syrian people,” he added.

Ebtisam Sakus, a Syrian writer, said that Turkish largesse to the Syrian people amounted to more than that provided by the entire Arab world.

“Turkey has opened schools in refugee camps and created job opportunities,” she added. “The most important thing is that Turkey provides refugees with a safe life.”

Jamal Karsli, a journalist who covers German immigration policies, pointed out that thousands of families were separated by the roughly 900-kilometer border between Syria and Turkey.

“We thank Turkey for everything,” Jamal said. “Turkey protected the Syrian refugees, which is a message to the entire world that Turkish policy is a humanitarian policy.”

“Turkey is very concerned with education and language-teaching,” he added. “In the future I hope our countries will form a union, like the European Union, that can resolve our problems.”

Having served as a lawmaker in Germany for ten years, and as a spokesman for immigrants, Karsli said that some one million refugees had recently arrived in Germany.

“Conditions in Europe are more difficult than in Turkey. That’s why many refugees want to come back to Turkey,” he added.

Gulabi Eryaman, Kurdish news and program director for Turkey’s TRT news channel, said Syrian journalists were aware of Ankara’s vision for the region, stressing that Turkey had opened its doors to Syrian refugees since the conflict began in early 2011.

*Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this report from Ankara

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