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20 thousand Syrian refugees returned

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar revealed today, Tuesday, that 20,000 Syrian refugees have returned to their country after the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria two weeks ago, killing and injuring tens of thousands.

He said that the Turkish army forces evacuated 235,000 people from the earthquake-affected areas.

In addition, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the examination of one million and 123 thousand buildings in the earthquake area, and it became clear that there are 458 thousand housing units inside 139 thousand collapsed or severely damaged buildings that need immediate demolition.

The Turkish minister refuted allegations of mass migration from Syria towards Turkey, and said that the Syrians leave in one direction from Turkey to their country through the border crossings.

He stressed that the borders are monitored 24/7 with thermal cameras and drones, as there is no activity on the borders and no attempts to cross at the present time.

This leave includes Syrians residing under the temporary protection clause in 11 affected Turkish states, namely the states of Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş, Kilis, Osmaniye, Malatya, Sanliurfa and Elazig.

On Friday, the Bab al-Salama crossing issued a statement indicating that the leave does not include Syrians in all states, but only those residing in the 11 Turkish states affected by the earthquake.

On the other hand, the Jarabulus crossing announced on Saturday that it allows Syrian residents who hold a temporary protection card “Kimlik” and residency and dual nationals to enter Syria to spend the leave allowed by the Turkish government, without a prior appointment, starting from Saturday, February 18.

On February 7, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a state of emergency for a period of three months, based on Article 119 of the constitution, in the areas affected by the recent earthquake.

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