Rosenthal visits Syrian refugees

In southern Turkey foreign minister Uri Rosenthal visited Kilis refugee camp, situated on the border with Syria, where he spoke with refugees and the Turkish authorities running the camp. The Minister also met with Syrian activists.

Mr Rosenthal viewed a cargo container home, a field hospital, a school and a clinic for psychosocial counselling. ‘I am deeply impressed by the shelter and protection afforded to these people by the Turkish authorities,’ he reported.

Kilis has 12,000 residents, making it the largest and oldest refugee camp in Turkey. It is run by the Turkish authorities with support from the UN refugee agency UNHCR and the Turkish Red Crescent Society. The mayor of Kilis, Abdi Bulut, thanked Mr Rosenthal for his pledge on Wednesday of €4 million extra aid for the Syrian refugees, on top of the €7 million already provided by the Netherlands.

In nearby Gaziantep Mr Rosenthal met with activists whose work includes recording human rights violations in Syria and providing humanitarian assistance. They operate mainly in locations in Syria that are inaccessible to international aid organisations. The Minister was informed in detail about the activists’ work and the current situation in Syria and expressed his support for their activities.