Angelina Jolie arrives in Turkey to meet Syrian refugees

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SHAFAQNA - Hollywood star and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie has arrived in Turkey’s southeastern province of Mardin to visit Syrian refugees.

The Oscar-winning American actress and director arrived Friday night in Turkey on a private plane to visit Syrian and Iraqi refugees, who fled clashes in their countries, in temporary protection centers in the Midyat district of Mardin.

Jolie is expected to participate in a program, which will be held for World Refugee Day with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres, who is also in Turkey.

On Saturday, Guterres, who is on the fourth of a five-day visit, will also visit the temporary protection centers in Turkey’s southeastern provinces of Mardin, Sanliurfa and Gaziantep, where Syrian refugees have been staying as well.

Jolie had visited Turkey in 2012. She met Syrian refugees, accompanied by Guterres in the southeastern provinces of Gaziantep and Kilis.  She had praised Turkey’s efforts in hosting the Syrian people .

In 2011, Angelina Jolie traveled to Turkey’s southern province of Hatay - 20 kilometers from the Syrian border - to meet with refugees who had fled Syria. Accompanied by UNHCR staff and Turkish government officials, she visited the Altinozu camp where some 1,700 Syrians had found shelter.

“The people in this camp have fled in fear for their lives, and many told me they were distraught about the safety of loved ones still in Syria,” Jolie said.

At the time, there were almost 10,000 people living in four camps managed by Turkey and the Turkish Red Crescent.

Over the past two weeks only, a total of 23,349 Syrian refugees fleeing clashes in Syria have entered Turkey, the spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Syrian refugees fled clashes in the city of Tal Abyad, where there has been fierce fighting between Daesh and Syrian-Kurdish forces.

Turkey shares a 900-kilometer border with Syria and has sheltered more than 1.7 million Syrians, according to the UN.

According to government figures, Turkey has spent more than $6 billion so far for refugees while the international community’s help has amounted to $300 million.

 

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