12:01 GMT +321 January 2020
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    Turkey's federal expenditure on Syrian and Iraqi refugees has reached $10 billion with the same amount provided by local authorities and non-governmental organizations, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) – Turkey has received no funding from the European Union to-date despite providing all that is necessary for the refugees, he added.

    "We acted as defenders for 3 million people who had fled from tyranny and violence, we spent over $10 billion on refugees. Given the assistance of local budgets and non-governmental organizations, overall spending reached $20 billion," Erdogan said, speaking at a meeting of the army chiefs of Balkan countries in the Turkish city of Istanbul. 

    ​Brussels and Ankara signed an agreement on March 18, which entails Turkey readmitting migrants who entered the European Union illegally from its territory, primarily across the Aegean Sea to Greece, and sending legal Syrian refugees to the bloc in their place.

    In return, the European Union pledged to provide a total of 3 billion euros (over $3.3 billion) to Turkey to assist with refugee accommodation in 2016-2017, with a further 3 billion-euro provision likely in 2018. The bloc additionally promised to accelerate Ankara's EU accession bid and introduce a visa-free regime between Turkey and the Schengen area.

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    Tags:
    money, migrants, European Union, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Syria, Turkey
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