Turkey: Main opposition holds conference on Syria


Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Saturday held a conference on Syria to discuss restoring peace and stability to the war-torn country.

A statement by the party said the international conference, held in Turkey’s commercial capital Istanbul, is meant to help find a solution to the Syrian crisis, which has also caused problems in its northern neighbor Turkey.

Turkey took in some 3.6 million Syrian refugees who fled the war — more refugees than any other country — and has spent some $40 billion of its own money to support them.

The conference was attended by CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, party lawmakers, diplomats from various countries, academics, experts, and journalists.

The conference addressed such topics as international dimensions of the Syria issue, problems faced by Syrian refugees including social life and integration, the strategic role of regional actors, and the role of local administrations, said the statement.

“Interventions not based on international legitimacy by states in the region and outside the region have fanned the flames in Syria and spread it to our country, and then to the region, and made the crisis in our neighbor a trigger for various regional and global problems,” the statement said.

The conference discussed the humanitarian situation of Syrians and how neighboring countries work to solve the issue.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.
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