More than 150,000 Syrian babies have been born in Turkey since Syria's crisis began, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Lütfi Elvan said on Feb. 29, underscoring the humanitarian burden incurred by Ankara during the conflict.
Addressing the opening session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Elvan said Turkey was “doing its upmost to shoulder a large part of the humanitarian catastrophe” caused by more than five years of civil war in Syria.
“The number of Syrian babies born in Turkey has reached almost 152,000” Elvan urged. He noted that “Turkey also hosts more than 2.7 million Syrian refugees, more than any of Syria's other neighbors.”
Ankara has repeatedly chastised the international community for not doing more in the face of Syria's massive displacement crisis, with more than half of the country's population forced from their homes by the fighting.
Elvan restated that call today, urging the world's nations to “act in line with principles of burden sharing” on the Syrian humanitarian crisis.
Elvan also criticized European states for trying to solve the biggest migrant crisis faced since World War II with more strict security measures.
Geographically located between war-torn Syria and Iraq in the southeast and EU member states, Turkey has become a transition point for migrants looking to flee the environment of violence in Middle Eastern countries that border the country.