Turkey: 7.6 billion dollars spent on 2.2 million Syrian refugees


Turkey has spent 7.6 billion dollars on caring for 2.2 million Syrian refugees since the civil war began in 2011, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Friday.

Since the beginning of the year, the Turkish coastguard rescued 53,228 migrants attempting to reach Europe, Kurtulmus said, according to a report by broadcaster NTV.

Turkey officially noted the deaths of 274 migrants in its waters this year, the minister said at a government coordination meeting on Syrian refugees in Ankara.

The country, which shares a 900 kilometres border with Syria, is a major point of departure for migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe.

The comments come as German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visits Turkey, in large part to discuss assistance for refugees.

Turkey hosts more Syrians who fled their homeland than any other country. Most Syrians, however, have no legal right to work and rights groups report housing remains a huge issue for many.

About 10 per cent of Syrians in Turkey live in government administered refugee camps.