Nearly 60,000 Syrian refugees in Türkiye return home after quake

About 60,000 Syrian refugees have returned to their homeland after the Feb. 6 earthquakes devastated their homes in Türkiye, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on March 27.

"Around 60,000 Syrians living in Türkiye have returned to their own land due to the loss of their homes and relatives," Akar said speaking at a military bordar post in the southern Hatay province.

Refuting the claims that there is an influx of refugees from Syria to Türkiye, Akar stressed that the Turkish border with Syria was strictly protected against illegal crossings.

"The allegations of illegal crossing through the border do not reflect the truth," he said.

"Our borders are protected, guarded and watched day and night by the most intense measures in the history of the republic, with state-of-the-art technology vehicles and equipment on a 24/7 basis," the minister stated.

Akar also condemned the recent attack on the Muslim holy book, the Quran, and a Turkish flag in Denmark.

"The attack on our flag and the holy book is a great example of barbarism, despicable and disgusting behavior. This is a hate crime against humanity. We can never accept that," he stated.

Two devastating earthquakes of 7.7 and 7.6 magnitudes, on Feb. 6 severely hit Türkiye's southern provinces and Syria's northern provinces. Türkiye is currently hosting around 3.7 million Syrians with a significant proportion of them residing in the earthquake-hit region.

Following the quakes, the Turkish government allowed Syrian refugees living in 11 quake-hut provinces of Türkiye to temporarily return to Syria and then come back to the country, as long as they do not stay longer than six months.

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