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A press release on behalf of Syrian organizations in Turkey regarding the return of Syrians receives wide media coverage

On June 21, 2022, from Istanbul, on the occasion of World Refugee Day, a press release was issued on behalf of Syrian civil society organizations, expressing their position on the debate taking place in Turkish public opinion regarding the fate of Syrians, under the sponsorship and organization of the Civil Society Organizations Platform. The statement, which received extensive media coverage exceeding 100 media appearances, was signed by more than 200 Syrian organizations and associations, and addressed the Turks through their media directly.

The statement comes after the issue of the Syrian presence has become a breeding ground for rumors among Turkish public opinion, which has developed over the years to become a negative and fixed stereotype about Syrians. With the weakness of the Syrian voices that address Turks in their language and directly, the Syrian civil society had to bear the responsibility of clarifying the facts to the Turkish people, hoping that this would be good for everyone.

The statement carried several messages addressed to the Turkish public, each of which comes in the context of responding to a point on which the negative discourse against Syrians in Turkey is based, most notably:

  • Adhering to the shared history and culture between the Syrian and Turkish peoples and the values of cooperation and good neighborliness.
  • Syrians are not a party to any internal Turkish political debate, and they reject the use of their human file as an electoral card.
  • Syrians are attached to their country and the land of their ancestors, and they support a dignified return that befits the sacrifices that have exceeded one million martyrs in the name of freedom and justice.
  • The safety of Syrians in the event of returning to most areas of Syria is currently non-existent, according to the testimony of the most important international and human rights organizations.
  • A dignified return is to the homes of Syrians from which they were expelled, and they still hold the keys to them, after the availability of security, political, and developmental conditions.
  • Syrians are ready to cooperate with all local and international parties in any path that serves the interests of their country. To be a stable, safe country for its people, for its neighbors, and for the world.
  • Syrians did not come to covet anyone’s land, and the proof is that before 2011, the Syrian-Turkish border was wide open; but they were forced after they were killed and shelled by the army of their country.
  • Returning Syrians before reaching a radical solution to the problem that caused the displacement will only complicate the crisis further.
  • A call to the international community to shoulder its humanitarian and moral responsibilities and to participate in a real way in ending the Syrian disaster that led to the displacement of refugees from their homes.

Analysis:

The statement is a significant step by Syrian civil society in addressing the negative discourse against Syrians in Turkey. The statement is clear and concise, and it addresses the key points that are often used to justify the discrimination against Syrians.

The statement is also important because it is signed by a large number of Syrian organizations and associations. This shows that there is a broad consensus among Syrian civil society on the need to address the negative discourse against Syrians.

The statement is likely to have a positive impact on Turkish public opinion. By providing accurate information about the situation of Syrians, the statement can help to dispel the myths and stereotypes that are often used to justify the discrimination against Syrians.

Recommendations:

The statement is a good starting point, but there is more that can be done to address the negative discourse against Syrians in Turkey. Here are some recommendations:

  • Syrian civil society should continue to raise awareness about the situation of Syrians in Turkey. This can be done through public education campaigns, media outreach, and social media.
  • The Turkish government should take steps to address the discrimination against Syrians. This could include passing laws to protect the rights of Syrians, and providing more support for Syrian refugees.
  • The international community should also play a role in addressing the negative discourse against Syrians. This could include providing financial assistance to Syrian refugees, and working to end the conflict in Syria.

Read the full Statement from here.

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