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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/4/19

Ambitious Turkish plan to resettle two million displaced Syrians

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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Turkey has an ambitious plan to settle two million displaced Syrians in a 30-kilometer-wide safe zone in northern Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled the plan at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly last month.

"Our aim is to settle 2 million Syrians, with the support of the international community, by providing a peace corridor of 30 kilometers deep and 480 kilometers long in the first phase," the president had said.

ErdoÄŸan offered to extend the safe zone to the Deir ez-Zor-Raqqa line and said that by doing so, even 3 million displaced Syrians can be resettled in the planned zone.

"We can take Syrians from tent, container cities and settle them in here, with U.S., coalition powers, Russia and Iran," he said.

Turkey currently hosts some 3.6 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. Ankara has so far spent $40 billion for the refugees, according to official figures.

Resettlement plan

The settlement area Turkey proposes includes 140 villages and 10 districts. Each village is planned to host 5,000 Syrians while each district will have a population of 30,000, according to Turkish Daily News.

The villages will contain about 1,000 residences, including houses and barns. The houses will be 100-square-meters large. Two mosques, two schools, a youth center, and a closed gym will also be included.

Every household in the villages will also receive agricultural land with respect to the size of the area.

The districts, on the other hand, will have 6,000 residences, a central mosque, as well as 10 mosques for neighborhoods, eight schools, a high school, two closed gyms, five youth centers, a small stadium, a football field, two hospitals, and an industrial estate.

For the planned resettlement areas to actualize, about 92.6 million square meters of land is needed.

Some 140-million square meters are also needed for the agricultural-land distribution.

A total of 200,000 residences will be constructed with respect to the plan, which will cost nearly $26.4 billion for the settlement of 1 million displaced Syrians, according to the Turkish Daily News.

Turkey-US agree on safe zone

Turkish and U.S. military officials agreed on August 7 to set up a safe zone in northern Syria and develop a peace corridor to facilitate the movement of displaced Syrians who want to return home.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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