“We sent back 553,000 immigrants to the regions we cleared of terrorism,” Cavusoglu said in an interview broadcast live on the NTV channel.
he added that 240,000 houses will be constructed in northern Syria, where 1 million refugees will be settled.
“We want to send Syrians not only to safe places, but also to places controlled by the (Assad) regime,” the minister continued.
Stressing the importance of a quadripartite meeting on Syria, Cavusoglu said removal of terrorism in Syria is important for its security and stability.
“We agreed on the preparation of the infrastructure for the safe return of Syrians to regime-controlled areas. We agreed at the last foreign ministerial meeting in Moscow. We have decided to establish a commission at the level of deputy ministers, in which the relevant institutions will also participate,” he continued, adding, “In other words, we are already determined to send the Syrians back. Secondly, we do not do this with a racist discourse, we do not forget that they are also human.”
Cavusoglu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and Syria’s Faisal Mekdad met May 10 in Moscow to exchange views on normalizing relations between Turkey and Syria, and to discuss counter terrorism, political process and humanitarian matters including the voluntary, safe and dignified return of Syrians.
More than 3.7 million Syrians currently reside in Turkey, making it the world’s top refugee-hosting country. Following the start of a war in Syria in 2011, Ankara adopted an “open-door” policy for Syrians fleeing persecution and brutality.