Binali Yıldırım, the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) mayoral candidate for İstanbul, has said Syrians who have taken refuge in Turkey due to an ongoing civil war in their country will be sent back to Syria if they disrupt the public order, the Hürriyet daily reported on Tuesday.
Yıldırım, who spoke for an interview to Hürriyet journalist Ertuğrul Özkök, said: “I am saying this honestly, you can make these words of mine your major story. These people [Syrians] are our guests. But, we set the rules. If they pose a security threat, or disrupt the peace of İstanbul residents in any neighborhood or district, we will immediately take them by their ears and send them back.”
The AKP candidate said he could never allow Syrians to assume a dominant position over the Turks.
According to a statement from Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu in February, a total of 3,644,342 Syrians have fled to Turkey since the start of the civil war in the neighboring country.
The Syrian refugees live in Turkey under international protected status.
According to Yıldırım, 700,000 of the Syrians live in İstanbul, Turkey’s most populous city.