Speaking at a press conference on the margins of the G20 in China on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey is working with Russia to facilitate a cease-fire in Aleppo before the upcoming religious holiday of Eid-al-Adha.
In response to a question Erdoğan said Turkey is not involved in any cooperation with Syria but rather with the coalition forces in the region, as he raised the human suffering in Aleppo.
Erdoğan continued to criticize the West in terms of the refugee issue. According to the Turkish president, the Western countries have adopted a “racist attitude” when it comes to refugees, calling it “shameful.” Erdoğan further said that Turkey has spent more than $12 billion in total for refugees, with the number reaching $25 billion when the contributions of civil society organizations are included.
The Turkish president also pointed out that he had called on all leaders at the G-20 to establish a “safe zone” measuring between 40 and 95 kilometers in length in Syria to solve the refugee problem.
Based on figures Erdoğan provided, Turkey hosts a total of 3 million Syrians and Iraqis inside its borders.
When asked about pressure on the Muslim Uighur minority in China, Erdoğan dodged the question and said that practicing religion and terrorism are different things.