Syrian refugees to return home once security established in Syria - Erdoğan

Syrian refugees in Turkey will be able to return home once Turkey has brought peace and stability to "Manbij and other areas" of Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday as he addressed a Justice and Development Party (AKP) conference in the Turkish city of Gaziantep.

Turkey currently hosts more than 3 million refugees from the conflict in Syria, and Erdoğan has often expressed a desire to see them return to Syria. Gaziantep is among the Turkish cities that hosts the highest number of refugees.

Erdoğan’s comments were echoed by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, also on Sunday, speaking at a naval shipyard close to Istanbul. “Around 350,000 Afrin people, whom we have been hosting in Turkey, will return to their soil and they will continue their lives in peace there.” he said.

Commenting on the Turkish military operation in Syria’s Afrin region, which began last month, Erdoğan said Turkey would keep up its efforts until the PYD was destroyed.

He also said the struggle against ISIS was near to success and praised Turkey’s efforts in preventing foreign fighters from joining the terrorist organization in Syria. “For years many countries sent their psychopaths to fight in the ranks of ISIS.” he said, “At least a proportion of these killers have been returned to their countries of origin. We have informed the countries concerned of the names of 60,000 such people and deported 6,000 to their countries of origin. ”