World owes Turkey for hosting refugees: Canadian envoy

By Salim Tas

HATAY, Turkey (AA) – The rest of the world owes Turkey a “debt”, for hosting Syrian refugees, the Canadian ambassador to Turkey said on Friday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency in Turkey’s southern Hatay province, Chris Cooter praised Turkey for its “admirable” acceptance of 3.5 million Syrian refugees.

“You’re integrating people, you’re giving them a chance, you’re giving them hope,” he said.

Turkey has accepted a “huge burden”, according to Cooter, who added that Canada shares the country's approach “towards people who have lost everything”.

Having accepted 50,000-60,000 Syrian refugees so far, he added that they “continue to be very welcome in Canada”.

Turkey hosts 3.5 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. The country has spent more than $32 billion from its own national resources for helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

Cooter expressed hope that the cooperation of 50-60 years between the two NATO allies could continue in the future.

He added that the trade volume exceeding $3 billion would increase with ongoing efforts to organize meetings between Canadian and Turkish businesspeople.