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Turkey plans construction project worth $27 billion in Syria 'safe zone': TRT

This photo shows a view of Turkey's planned construction project for refugees in a Syria "safe zone".

State broadcaster TRT Haber says Turkey plans to build towns within the so-called safe zone in northeast Syria, raising fears that Ankara might be carving out a patch of land in the Arab country for itself.   

The network revealed details of the scheme in territories outside the control of the Syrian government, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan proposed at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly earlier this week. 

Last month, Turkey and the US agreed to set up the "safe zone" stretching from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border. 

Syria slammed the deal as a "blatant aggression” against the country’s territorial integrity and a “flagrant violation” of the international law and the UN Charter.

At the United Nations, Erdogan held up a map to show the zone which Turkey wants to set up with the United States, and where it says one million Syrian refugees would be housed.

Turkey has pushed for the 20-mile (32 km) deep “safe zone” to be established along more than 400 km of its border with northeast Syria.

It initially said the aim of the zone was to drive back Syrian Kurdish YPG forces - which Ankara views as a security threat - from the border. It now says the region will also be used to settle 1 million of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey.

Under Turkey's plan, which would cost around 151 billion lira ($27 billion), 140 villages and 10 towns would be established inside the "safe zone". 

The project will feature a total of 200,000 residences. Each village would have 1,000 houses, enough for housing 5,000 people, while each town would provide 6,000 homes for a total projected population of 30,000.

Every household residing in villages would have its own farmland while each town would have hospitals, football pitches, mosques, schools and other facilities, the report said.

TRT Haber reported that foreign funds would be established to build the residences, which are expected to settle 1 million of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey. It also published mock-up photos of the housing project.


During his Tuesday speech, Erdogan called on the General Assembly to support Turkey’s efforts in Syria.

“Our aim is to settle 2 million Syrians, with the support of the international community, by providing a peace corridor of 30 kilometers deep and 480 kilometers long in the first phase."

He also offered to extend the safe zone to the Dayr al-Zawr-Raqqah line, adding that if implemented, 3 million displaced Syrians can be resettled.

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