Turkey will no longer be able to afford to welcome any more Afghan refugees, said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a preview of a CBS interview due to be broadcast on Sunday, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported, citing The Associated Press.
The Turkish president has also accused the US of failing to meet its obligations in Afghanistan. “The US should do more to help the country’s refugees,” he said in remarks aired Wednesday.
According to Erdoğan, Turkey is home to more than 300,000 Afghans.
Turkey, which hosts some 3.7 million registered Syrian refugees, is currently faced with an increasing number of Afghans attempting to enter the country through Iran since the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital of Kabul. Between 500 and 1,000 Afghans are estimated to have arrived in Turkey each day since early July, according to Turkish media reports.
On Tuesday Erdoğan addressed the UN General Assembly in New York, where he warned of a potential wave of refugees prompted by climate change.
According to a survey conducted by Metropoll, 54.4 percent of Turks are against opening the border to Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban and think a possible open-door policy would have a negative effect on their support for the Turkish government.
Only 18.8 percent of respondents supported the idea of Turkey accepting new Afghan refugees.
Hate crimes against refugees and migrants, who are blamed for many of Turkey’s social and economic troubles, have been escalating in the country in recent years. Turkish media including pro-government and opposition outlets fuel and exploit the flames of hatred against people who fled their countries and sought refuge in Turkey.
Speaking in a televised address following a Cabinet meeting, President Erdoğan previously said he was aware of the Turkish public’s “unease” about refugees. He reiterated that the country had reinforced its border with Iran with military, gendarmerie and police and that a wall being erected along the frontier was nearing completion.