11 March 2013
The Foreign Ministry says Turkey makes no discrimination in admitting civil war-stricken Syrians in camps, refugee count near 290k.
ANKARA -- Turkey has strongly dismissed a claim that it did not admitted Syrian Christians in refugee camps in the country.
"Our borders have always been wide open to our Syrian brethren from all religious, sectarian or ethnic groups without any discrimination or limitation," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a press statement on Monday.
The claim was made by one of the lawmakers from Turkey's main opposition party who travelled to Damascus last week and met with officials from the Syrian regime.
Turkey is a fierce opponent of Syria's embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, and it wants him to relinquish power.
The country is also home to Syrian refugees whose numbers nearly reached 190,000 in camps and another 100,000 are staying in houses in several Turkish cities. Turkey also provides logistic support to Syrian dissident fighters.
What started as peaceful protests in March 2011 in Syria quickly spiralled into a civil war following a brutal government crackdown.
The United Nations says the two-year-old war has killed more than 70,000 people and forced 1 million Syrians to flee their country.