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Is Erdogan resettlement plan for Syrian refugees really viable?

The Turkish president's proposal to build refugee settlements in the safe zone has already revitalized the Turkish construction industry. Neither refugees nor the Kurds are pleased, and the international community has lashed out at the plan.
Syrians line up as they wait to cross into Syria at Oncupinar border crossing in the southeastern city of Kilis, Turkey February 8, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal - GF10000300861

On Sept. 24, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan introduced what was referred to as an unprecedented project envisaging the establishment of refugee towns in Syrian areas where Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring is taking place.

A week later, he revealed the details of this curious project. “We made the necessary plans. With the support from international community we will resettle 1 million people into 140 villages with 5,000 inhabitants and 50 districts of 30,000 inhabitants,” he said during his parliamentary address Oct. 1. “Preliminary work on building new villages and districts has started, locations are established and costs calculated.”

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