UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi Visits Turkey

unhcr-grandiThe UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi visited Turkey beginning of September.

During his visit he met with the Vice-President of Turkey, Fuat Oktay, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the Minister of Interior Mr. Süleyman Soylu, the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Services Ms. Zehra Zümrüt and the Vice Minister of National Education Mr. Reha Denemeç as well as the Director General Mr. Abdullah Ayaz and staff of the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) which is the state institution responsible for refugees in Turkey.

The visit also provided the opportunity to meet refugees at a UNHCR-supported social services centre of the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services and a vocational training centre of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, where he was joined by the mayor of Ankara, Mr. Mansur Yavaş.

In his meetings with the state authorities, Grandi reiterated UNHCR’s commitment to continue its cooperation with and support for Turkey, recognizing its important role as the country hosting the largest refugee population in the world for five consecutive years. The High Commissioner discussed recent developments in the region as well as in Turkey and received with appreciation assurances of Turkey’s continued commitment to refugee protection. The situation in Idleb was also subject of the discussions, where a humanitarian catastrophe needs to be prevented and all done to protect civilians.

“Refugee situations will exist as long as there are conflicts. Ending refugee situations requires political solutions, but until that happens, host countries, including Turkey, and host communities need support and solidarity from the international community,” said Grandi.

The High Commissioner welcomed Turkey’s role as co-convener of the upcoming Global Refugee Forum in Geneva in December. The Forum will provide a unique occasion for States and others to come together and announce bold measures they will take to ease pressure on host countries, boost refugee self-reliance, and search for solutions.

“Refugee situations send ripples across entire regions and beyond. Dealing with displacement challenges cannot be done alone and requires unity of vision and ambition among all countries coupled with real, concrete action. This is the goal of the Global Compact on Refugees and it is what we will be working towards through the Global Refugee Forum,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.