In order to determine the migration policies and strategies of Turkey, Migration Policies Board gathered under the presidency of Mr. Süleyman SOYLU in Ankara, Vali Galip Demirel Vilayetler Evi on 15 February 2017.

In the board gathering under the presidency of Minister of Interior; the undersecretaries of Ministry of Family and Social Policies, Ministry of European Union, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of National Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Development, the President for Turks Abroad and Related Communities and the Director General of Migration Management participated.

Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior who made the opening speech stated that they held the first meeting of the board with the aim of establishing migration policy.

Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior, who indicated that Anatolian civilization’s unique conscience continues to look through the world with the same sense of responsibility, stressed that the movement of migration originating from Syria is related to Turkey due to the conscientious responsibility.

Mr. Süleyman SOYLU who said “We did not recognize this responsibility as our Western associates did only when the baby Aylan washed up on shore”, stated that Turkey has more experience in the field of migration than the other countries in the world.

Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior indicated that the migration wave emerging after the developments in Syria and Iraq created the need for a new institutional structuring which grounds on migration management.

Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior, who reminded that the Directorate General of Migration Management was established within the body of Ministry of Interior, stated that in the presence of human mobility increasing in relation to the Syria crisis, Turkey sets an example to the world with the quick responses it gives both in legislative and institutional field.

Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior said that “Turkey has never turned anyone out of the door. It has never turned the masses back to bullets and bombs coming from their backs. When preparing the institutional infrastructure, it did not allow great weakness and conflict in terms of both social and safety related issues. This is not an easy job. The number of people who still live in Turkey as migrants and refugees is 3 million 551 thousand 78. According to the AFAD data, in the Syrian crisis, Turkey’s total expenditure spent by public institutions, NGOs and the public for the refugees is 25 billion dollar. Turkey fought against the terrorism while carrying out those works. It fought against PKK, PYD, FETO, and DAESH. It went through elections. It overcame the coup attempt. It was exposed to the economic operations.”

Highlighting the fact that the reaction given to the migrant crisis was quick but this reaction was not unplanned, Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior, remarked that the migration policy Turkey follows is on the basis of human rights and in compliance with the international norms.

Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior stated that basic principle is the obligation of non-refoulement of the people to the area under the threat of suffering cruelty.

Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior, who indicated that they have been implementing open door policy for Syrians since 2011 reported that approximately %10 of Syrians living in Turkey are accommodated in the camps.
Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior, shared the following information: “Our work on verification which aims the updating of the detailed information of all Syrians under temporary protection has also been going on. Furthermore, our work on building a fingerprint-aided database in which the data of all foreigners in our country are collected has also been going on rapidly.”

Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior, stated that 33 mobile registration vehicles among which there are also trailer trucks were bought and 150 registration desks were built with the aim of completing biometric registration of Syrians. He also reported that “Law on Foreigners and International Protection”, which protects the human rights pre-eminently when comparing to the all countries’ laws regarding the foreigners, was entered into force after being published.

Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior, who indicated that Turkey did its part at full strength in humanitarian and legal aspects, said: “The total number of Syrian asylum applications accepted by all the European Union countries is 866 thousand 831. On the other hand, the number of persons who are hosted by Turkey is just 3.3 times as much as that number. The total population of EU countries is 500 million. As for Turkey, its total population is 80 million. The senior officials of some countries stated explicitly that they would heighten the border wall against the flow of refugees and take measures by using razor wire barrier and thermal cameras. Again, in one of the European countries, it was found that % 89.2 of the refugees were exposed to the police violence. Again, in one of the European countries, it was seen that the refugees had to take shower in a tub at -10 degrees.

Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior drew attention to the fact that in one of the European countries, the police seized the tents and blankets of the refugees and they were left for dead.

Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior, pointed out: “How nice Akif described: ‘Single-fanged monster you call civilization?’ However, I should say that the deceased Akif also mustn’t have considered that much.

Highlighting the fact that mass migration also brought into question the matter of illegal migration which was interpreted as “irregular migration”, Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior said that Turkey has also been fighting against this matter efficiently. At this point, the average number of irregular migrants who were seized between 2005 and 2014 is about 50 thousand annually. He added that this number reached to 146 thousand 485 in 2015 and reached to 174 thousand 466 in 2016.

Highlighting the fact that one of the most important titles of the policies that Migration Policies Board would suggest to the government and state is the matter of illegal migrant, Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior, reported that as of 7 February, the number of illegal migrants seized in 2017 has been 10 thousand 695.

Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior, who thanked the law-enforcement officers for the works they carried out, stressed that the police, gendarme, Turkish Coast Guard Command and the personnel of Turkish Armed Forces in the frontiers took an important task.

Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior stated that “The number of migrant smugglers who have been arrested as of 2010 is 4 thousand 856. One of our major problems within this mass movement in the Middle East is the passage of foreign terrorists. This is also a serious problem for our country. In this context, 52 thousand 75 persons from 145 countries were banned from entry into Turkey, 4 thousand 369 persons from 99 countries were deported.”
Uttering that the ones obtained in the first meeting of the Migration Policies Board would form a national migration policy Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior, stated that this would be the first time for Turkey.

Indicating that Turkey is under a tremendous responsibility, Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior, stated: “There is a great fire in our east and there is unfortunately great indifference in our west. As for Turkey, it is a country which faces this situation at the heart of this human drama. Our responsibility is not only against our own humanity, but against the whole of humanity. We know that man has the highest honor of the created, and our duty is to be able to see him/her on the floor where God has positioned him/her, to evaluate it in that way and to serve him/her in that way too. This issue has been discussed in Turkey a lot. Our esteemed President has been targeted. At the point where millions of people from Syria came desperately upon the borders of Turkey to be able to protect their children, spouses and honor, unfortunately some classes who have the common and similar conscience as the west wanted us to close our borders and leave them for dead.”

Stating that Turkish civilization has been subjected to tests all the time, Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior stressed that Turkish civilization which has never failed the test, has always shared its bread and affection.
Mr. Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior, said: “The responsibilities that our civilization imposes on us against those who try to teach us democracy, civilization, rule of law, lessons of humanity have positioned us in a different and meaningful place in the world."

Drawing attention to the fact that they have been passing through a time when the Proxy Wars have been taking place and the migration has being used for the destruction of economic order of other countries, Mr Süleyman SOYLU, Minister of Interior, explained that they know how some of the countries direct the people, who have arrived their countries, to Turkey within the scope of irregular migration, and they did not abstain from taking measures in this matter.

The meeting ended after the issues on the agenda were discussed.

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