Turkey PM: Refugee crisis 'matter of humanity's future'
Davutoglu criticizes European countries for failing to shoulder refugee influx

As the European countries face an unprecedented influx of refugees fleeing from war zones in the Middle East and Africa the Turkish prime minister has slammed the EU for failing to do its part in handling the crisis.

Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday that European leaders must see the fact that refugees are "no more an issue of law, politics or international balance but a matter of humanity's future."

"What we should discuss in not the capacity of a train's coach or smuggler's boat for refugees but the capacity of your heart to make room for people," he said in a written statement Thursday regarding the recent refugee crisis in Europe.

Davutoglu stressed that the Syrian crisis wreaking havoc on the Middle East was now at Europe's doors.

His remarks followed the drowning of 12 Syrian refugees, including eight children, off coast of the Turkish resort town of Bodrum early Wednesday after their boat en route to the Greek islands sank in the Aegean Sea.

The photos of the victims went viral on social media, with that of 2 year-old Aylan Kurdi who drowned together with his brother Galip (3) and mother Zahin (27) as identified by Turkish authorities.

"In the body of Aylan, a nation that has been racked with pain for years is now calling the whole world for justice and mercy," said Davutoglu.

Turkish premier said Turkey sheltered over 2 million refugees on its soil, where he said "thousands of children like Aylan are born, had their first steps and clinged to life in safety in the last four years."

"It is high time we fulfill our responsibilities before it is too late so that our children and the next generations would not be ashamed of us when they look into the mirror of the history," he said.

"It is the non-ignorable call of our joint conscience."

The Bodrum coast in the Turkish south-western Mugla province is a preferred location for migrants trying to reach Kos, as the route is among the shortest by sea from Asia to EU territory.

Europe is facing the biggest refugee crisis in decades, with thousands of asylum seekers from Middle Eastern and African countries trying to reach Western Europe.

In July, a record 100,000 reached EU borders, while more than 150,000 entered Hungary in the first eight months of the year. Germany alone expects 800,000 asylum applications in 2015, four times the number last year.

Around 2,500 refugees and migrants have died or gone missing trying to reach Europe this year alone, according to the UN.

Last Modified: 2015-09-04 07:52:46
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