“What Europe is experiencing right now is frequently cited as a refugee crisis of a scale that Europe never saw since the end of the Second World War,” says Brookings expert Kemal Kirişci in this recent edition of the Brookings Cafeteria Podcast. “However,” he continued, “I would argue that a crisis of larger dimensions has been occurring in the Middle East or around Syria as well as Iraq.”
Kirişci, the TÜSİAD Senior Fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE), and director of the center’s Turkey Project, observes that there are over 7 million displaced persons in Syria, and 4.2 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, plus some in Iraq and Egypt. He also adds that one out of four people in Lebanon is a refugee, and that Turkey is now the world’s number one host of refugees.
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Kirişci is co-author with Senior Fellow Beth Ferris of a new report, “Not likely to go home: Syrian refugees and the challenges to Turkey—and the international community,” in which they examine the extent and impact the Syrian refugee crisis has had on Turkey and the international community, drawing on their visits to the country starting in October 2013.
Ferris and Kirişci recently participated in a CUSE event with other experts to explore the international response to the crisis. Get event materials, including audio, here.
[U.S.-Turkish joint patrols to oversee security in the northern Syrian city of Manbij could probably start soon after Washington and Ankara agreed on a plan for the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters.] Decisions on vetting and personnel changes in security/governance structures will undoubtedly take longer — that is where implementation challenges could arise.