Speaking at the opening of the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul, Yildirim said the threat from terrorism was global. “If we are talking about security, nowhere in the world is safe… terrorism does not recognize borders” he said. “There is no place safe from terrorism. The fear and threat of terrorism is only useful to terrorists. “I say it proudly and confidently – Turkey is as safe as the United States, Istanbul is as safe as Paris, Ankara is as safe as Sarajevo, Izmir is as safe as Baku. Therefore, please do not let terrorism sabotage tourism”. The prime minister hailed those working in the tourism sector as “volunteer peace ambassadors”. A string of terror attacks across Turkey have threatened the country’s vital tourism industry, with the number of foreign visitors dropping from 36.8 million in 2014 to 25.4 million last year, according to the Culture and Tourism Ministry. However, Yildirim said Turkey aimed to attract 8 million more tourists in the first stage of a campaign to boost tourism earnings to $50 billion, unveiled by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week. He also stressed the non-financial benefits of tourism. “It is insufficient to evaluate tourism only from an economic point of view” he said. “Tourism is beyond that. It is primarily the meeting of cultures, the meeting of civilizations
Turkey has so far offered free education to 483,000 Syrian schoolchildren, the country’s education minister said yesterday. İsmet Yılmaz said over half of the 850,000 Syrian refugee schoolchildren in the country were being educated in Turkey’s public schools alongside local children. “We want to provide national education not only to our own children but also to those who have taken refuge in our country and those who are not able to live in their own country. If a person is uneducated, he or she will be open to additional risks wherever they are” Yılmaz said. He said the authorities carried out intensive studies into the education of Syrian refugee students after Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s order last June to immediately complete an offer for free schooling. Yılmaz said the curriculum had been scheduled with Arabic and Turkish teachers together because Turkey believes Syrian refugees will be able to back to their homeland after the war is over. Refugee students have missed years of education due to the closure of schools in their home countries and prolonged traveling. The European Union has contributed to Turkey for their education and pledged to send 300 million euros.
Turkey-backed rebels have largely taken control of Syria’s al-Bab from Islamic State militants, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Tuesday, but a war monitoring group said the jihadists still controlled most of the town. “Al-Bab has been largely taken under control. Our aim is to prevent the opening of corridors from territories controlled by terrorist organizations to Turkey,” Yildirim said in a speech to lawmakers from his ruling AK Party in parliament. However, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants remained in control of the northern Syrian town.
The generosity of Turkey regarding taking care of Syrian refugees should be matched by other countries, UN Chief Antonio Guterres said in a joint press conference with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Friday. Guterres had high praise for Turkey’s efforts to deal with the millions of refugees pouring into its country. He stressed that Turkey is effectively handling the situation single-handedly at a time when other countries are closing their borders and walking away from responsibility. “This generosity should be matched,” he said of Turkey. “This is also a moment to launch an appeal – when we see so many borders being closed and when we see so many escaping their responsibilities-this is a moment to appeal for effective burden-sharing and to make sure that the integrity of the international refugee protection regime is maintained.” On Cyprus, he said the UN is in service to the two communities and the guarantor states stand ready to support a solution accepted by everyone. Prime Minister Yıldırım once gain urged the world to do its fair share to help solve problems in the region. Yıldırım said Turkey is hosting three million refugees without much support from other countries and the entire world is aware. “We want everybody to accept their responsibilities and not to be stingy on sharing burdens to end the problems in this region,” he said. Referring to Cyprus talks, Yıldırım said any new administration there should be just and the two communities, Turkish and Greek, must be equally represented.