To ( not) open arms to the victims of the world - HATICE KARAHAN

To ( not) open arms to the victims of the world

Last week, our Minister to the EU, Mr. Bozkır sent a letter to the European Commission and remarked that leaving Turkey alone on the matter of Syrian immigrants is neither sustainable nor fair. This letter, which states that the silence of the international community is worrying, invited Europe to mobilize their unused capacity. As a matter of fact, as of today, Turkey is hosting more than 2 million Syrians.

Half the size of the Titanic

It's not only Minister Bozkır or Turkey that is warning Europe and the world in general about the immigrants and people running away from wars. With the report they've published last week, even though it was out of formality, the UN also showed the reality to the world. The chain of calamities, which took the lives of 800 people in the Mediterranean Sea after the biggest immigrant shipwreck in history only 2 months ago, at least deserve a report…

We are speaking about a serious number of lives lost; it's more than half of the people who had lost their lives in the Titanic tragedy just a century ago!

Besides, the lives we are talking about are not only the ones abandoned in the sea, or Somalians, or Syrians. This is a giant community that takes the risk of many dangers in order to save their lives from the wars in various regions of the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

As of 2014, this community had reached a population enough to be ranked as the 24th in the world population rankings. 59.5 million people are leaving their homes and migrating to unknown places. In other words, almost 1 out of 122 people in the world are exiled from their homes.

We are the country that hosts the most number of immigrants

The numbers, in the sense of both levels and increase, are continuing to break the records. As a matter of fact, according to the UN's report named “Global Trends: World at War”; from 2013 to 2014, the number of people who were imposed on to change their homes increased by 8.3 million people. This is a unique development in the post-World War II era!

-19.5 million of those 59.5 million people are in immigrant status and outside their countries; it's a number that exceeded the populations of many countries like Holland, Kazakhstan and many more.

-38.2 million of those 59.5 million people are running away from their country, while 1.8 million of them are waiting for their immigrant applications.

According to the records from 2014, with 1.6 million people, Turkey is the country that opened its doors to immigrants the most. Turkey, who had been on the top of that list for some time, is followed by Pakistan and Lebanon.

-3.9 million of the world's immigrants, who reached the number of 20 million people, are from Syria, 2.6 million from Afghanistan and 1.1 million from Somalia.

The main reason for the increase in those numbers is the war in Syria. The UN's report states that 1 out of every 5 victims in the world are from Syria. This explains why Turkey took the throne of Pakistan, which has been the biggest immigrant shelter of the world for the past 10 years.

Half of the immigrants are children. According to the data, 51% of the immigrant community is formed out of kids below 18 years. Compared to the 41% 5 years ago, there is a substantial increase. Besides, part of those kids has no parents. It's heartbreaking….

Where is the modern world?

If we are to return to the matter of opening doors; we are encountering striking facts.

Turkey, Pakistan and Lebanon, who are on the top 3, are hosting 30% of the world's immigrant population! The next 10 countries, including Iran, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kenya, Chad, Uganda and China are hosting 57% of that population.

Another spurred and striking fact is; developing countries opened their doors to 86% of the world's immigrant population. Of course, at this point the matter of geographical closeness is coming into discussion; however, this shouldn't/cannot be a valid justification for other countries. Besides, there are also some developed countries that are close to the areas with immigrants. Based on that, if you ask me where the modern world stands in the matter of immigrants;

-The U.S. and France, which seem to have pushed the limits the most, possess 267,000 and 252,000 respectively. They are followed by Germany with 217,000. While only a couple of European countries has 100,000 immigrants, Italy almost reached 94,000.

-Israel is at 40,000, while Spain is only at 6,000. It gets worse; Japan only accepted 2,560 immigrants.

-As for the rich Gulf Region countries; Saudi Arabia only accepted 534 immigrants.

-The most tragic one is Singapore with 3 immigrants!

There are many more examples; however, if I'm to count them all, we will neither have space nor make anything of it.

In the meeting in Istanbul, the High Commissioner of UN Immigrants, Guterres, talked about the report, revolted against the insensitivity of the world and said the following;

“The inability to form an international cooperation to establish peace and the fact that the wars in question are left unpunished is really scary.”

The High Commissioner made a “humanity” call, especially to the developed world, and emphasized that the generousness of Turkey should form an example to the rest of the world.

It's inevitable to disagree with Guterres; however, while we already have people in our lands that don't understand what we are doing, I'm not sure how much of the world, which I profiled above, will get the whole thing.





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