Filippo Grandi (UNHCR) met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on September 8, 2021 | Photo: UNHCR (@FilippoGrandi on Twitter)
Filippo Grandi (UNHCR) met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on September 8, 2021 | Photo: UNHCR (@FilippoGrandi on Twitter)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi is visiting Turkey. The country hosts the largest number of refugees worldwide, including more than 3.5 million Syrians and hundreds of thousands of Afghans.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi arrived in Turkey on Wednesday and will remain in the country until Saturday, according to the Turkish foreign ministry.

Grandi met with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu in Ankara to discuss both the situation of Syrian refugees and the crisis in Afghanistan.

"More international help is needed," Grandi said in a Tweet about his meeting with the interior minister. The two men reportedly "discussed how to address Turkey's growing migratory challenges as it continues to host a large population of Syrian, Afghan and other refugees."

During his visit, Grandi is also scheduled to travel to the southeastern province of Sanliurfa and the city of Gaziantep near the Syrian border, where a large share of the population are Syrian refugees.

Turkey hosts millions of refugees

Some 3.6 million Syrian refugees are living in Turkey, along with hundreds of thousands of refugees from other countries. This makes Turkey the country hosting the largest number of refugees worldwide.

Afghans are believed to be the second largest refugee community in Turkey after Syrians: according to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, some 300,000 Afghan refugees and migrants are currently in the country.

Turkish government officials have repeatedly expressed concerns that the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan could lead to a large increase in its Afghan refugee population, and have said that they are not willing to host a large number of Afghans. Turkey is currently constructing a large wall along its border with Iran to prevent migrants and refugees from crossing the border.

 

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