Turkey aims to resettle 1 million Syrians in safe zone, Erdoğan says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said Turkey aimed to resettle up to 1 million Syrian refugees in the safe zone established by Turkey along its border in Syria, Reuters reported.

Ankara launched a military operation on Oct. 9 to clear Kurdish-led forces it views as terrorists from areas south of its border, capturing an area between two border towns of Ras al Ayn and Tel Abyad where Erdoğan wishes to create a safe zone to resettle Syrian refugees, over 3.6 million of whom are currently residing in Turkey.

“The Turkish nation can carry out an exemplary step between Ras al Ain and Tel Abyad,” Reuters quoted Erdoğan as saying during an interview with state-run TRT broadcaster.

“Settling one million people between Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain, that is our aim in the safe zone, that is our plan.”

Erdoğan in early October unveiled plans for major housing projects to accommodate returning Syrians in the proposed safe zone, and he has asked the European Union to help to finance his project.

However, the EU has said it will not provide financial support for Turkey's project.