September 25, 2012 - 11:43 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Having refused international assistance when fleeing Syrians began to arrive in Turkey a year and a half ago, the Turkish government is now having a hard time convincing members of the international community to help with the ever-growing problem, while the intensity of the influx is on the verge of exceeding Turkey’s capacity to accommodate the refugees, Hürriyet Daily News reports.
Turkey’s request for cash assistance and the level of its cooperation with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which is considered to be limited by third parties, are seen as major reasons for the unwillingness of the international community to help, according to Western diplomatic sources.
“We are being asked to write a check for Turkish government. But things do not work like that. We prefer to extend assistance through UN bodies,” a European official told the HDN.
“We are cooperating with UNHCR, but we obviously will not allow the camps be under the control of UNHCR. We will not give up our sovereign rights. And to our knowledge UNHCR is fully satisfied and very pleased with our cooperation,” said a Turkish official familiar with the issue, adding that those third parties that are unwilling to put their hands in their pockets are hiding behind “baseless” arguments.
The same official pointed out that the UN refugee agency’s call for assistance for Syrian refugees has also met with a limited response. The UNHCR has devised two plans to tackle the problem, one designed to be implemented within Syria and the other to assist neighboring countries, and urged member countriesv to fund these plans. Only $104 million of the $193 million regional appeal and $94 million of the $180 million dollar appeal for the plan targeting populations within Syria has been provided. Turkey alone has so far spent almost twice as much as the amount of funds provided by the international community to both plans combined, with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu recently citing a figure of more than $300 million spent to date.