Turkey’s Tripartite Mechanism Aims to Facilitate Syrian Refugee Return with Focus on Aleppo

A Turkish flag flutters at the refugee camp for Syrian refugees in Islahiye, Gaziantep province, southeastern Turkey, March 16, 2016. (AP File Photo)

In a significant move, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has issued directives to establish a tripartite mechanism aimed at encouraging the return of Syrian refugees to Syria. The initiative, a joint effort involving the Turkish Ministry of Interior, the ruling Justice and Development Party, and its parliamentary bloc, seeks to swiftly undertake practical and legal measures to facilitate asylum seekers’ return and combat irregular migration.

According to the Turkish newspaper “Sabah,” the tripartite mechanism envisions collaborative efforts between Qatar and Turkey in constructing shared housing for refugees, revitalizing economic and commercial activities in northern Syria, and enabling entrepreneurs, including Turkish nationals, to open facilities and factories in secure zones, thereby creating employment opportunities.

One of the central components of this tripartite approach is Aleppo, the economic hub of Syria. The plan involves the application of the “safe zones” principle in Aleppo, a concept Turkey is actively negotiating with Russia and the Syrian regime to ensure the economic and social revival of the city. This focus on Aleppo is expected to pave the way for hundreds of thousands of refugees to return, significantly impacting the success of the three-pronged strategy.

Addressing the issue of irregular migration, the mechanism outlines new measures to develop relationships with countries of origin or transit for migrants. This move aims to foster cooperation and coordination in managing the challenge of illegal migration.

Recent reports from the Turkish newspaper “Hurriyet” shed light on President Erdogan’s meeting with Bashar al-Assad, emphasizing the return of refugees from Aleppo and the normalization of relations between the two sides. The meeting is poised to prioritize discussions on the return of Syrian refugees, particularly those from Aleppo, the largest refugee group residing in Turkey. It is imperative for their repatriation to be orchestrated to ensure they are not exposed to the “embrace of the regime and terrorist organizations.”


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