Türkiye will neither be a refugee camp nor a border guard for any country, and it will in no circumstances assume third countries' international obligations, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
This came after there were news reports in the UK press that Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who is one of the candidates for the office of the prime minister, may demand an agreement with Türkiye similar to the agreement done with Rwanda on asylum partnership.
Responding to the news reports, Tanju Bilgic, the Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said: “We hope that these claims that were published in reference to Ms. Truss are baseless.”
In April, the UK and Rwanda reached a £120 million ($142 million) deal that would see asylum seekers attempting to enter the UK being sent to the East African country for resettlement.
Bilgic said in a statement that Türkiye is already hosting the largest number of refugees in the world for the last 8 years.
“It is therefore out of question for Türkiye to shoulder more burden or to be a part of an initiative, at third countries' request, that does not comply with international regulations on right to asylum,” he said, adding: “Besides, we had already shared our position publicly last year following similar news published on Afghan refugees.”
“Accordingly, we invite all countries to fulfill their international obligations and assume equal responsibility on migration issues,” Bilgic said.
Türkiye has been a key transit point for irregular migrants who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution in their countries.
It already hosts 4 million refugees, more than any other country in the world, and is taking new security measures on its borders to humanely prevent a fresh influx of migrants.