Turkey FM: Mediterranean a cemetery for hopeless

By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA (AA) – The Mediterranean Sea is turning into a cemetery for hopeless people, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday.

"Let me underline the terrible reality. The Mediterranean Sea, the cradle of centuries-long civilizations, is becoming a graveyard of desperate people," Cavusoglu said during his address to the UN General Assembly's Global Compact on Refugees: A Model for Greater Solidarity and Cooperation.

Cavusoglu said globally there are around 260 million migrants, more than 68 million displaced people and an excess of 25 million refugees.

"Dead children lying on the coasts are a shame for the entire world and humanity," he added.

The minister said Turkey did not leave innocent people to the hands of a "brutal" Syrian regime nor to Daesh or PKK/YPG terror groups, as he highlighted Turkey's efforts to mitigate the crisis.

"Unfortunately, the heavy burden of humanitarian consequences of the Syrian crisis has been left on Turkey’s shoulders. Commitments have not been fulfilled. Our calls for more burden and responsibility sharing felt on deaf ears.

"However, we have continued to pursue a humanitarian approach," Cavusoglu said.

He added Turkey has demonstrated such an attitude in the latest Syria's Idlib crisis.

Cavusoglu said a trilateral summit in Tehran between Turkey, Russia and Iran, and the Sochi meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, prevented a major humanitarian tragedy.

"We have shown that while keeping our resolve in the fight against terrorism, we can also protect civilians and residential areas. Thanks to such efforts, we have also significantly reduced a new migratory flow to Turkey and the EU countries from Syria," he added.