HATAY, Turkey

The Turkish diplomat heading the UN General Assembly said on Saturday that the greatest human catastrophe the world has ever seen after the World War II is being experienced in Syria.

Volkan Bozkir, accompanied by the UN officials, inspected the UN Transfer Area in the Reyhanli district of southern Hatay province.

Bozkir was briefed by Mark Cutts, the UN regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, and other UN staff.

“Approximately 2.7 million displaced people live in very difficult conditions in northwestern Syria. Apart from those who migrated to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, I’m talking about those living in northern Syria. Approximately 3.4 million people are at risk of starvation. The United Nations General Assembly has addressed the issue of Syria three times, and we had the opportunity to discuss all aspects of it, such as humanitarian aid.”

“However, I personally wanted to come here and observe these humanitarian aid operations,” he said.

Regarding the UN’s humanitarian aid to Syria, Bozkir said: “Unfortunately, only one of the four gates is open, and the UN humanitarian aid can be delivered to those in need in Syria through a single door.”

“I hope the Security Council will increase this number again at the earliest. I support calls and efforts made by the international community in this direction,” he added.

He went onto say that he will share his observations in Hatay with all the UN member countries after his return to New York.

Bozkir also visited the Cilvegozu Border Gate and met with local authorities and Turkish Red Crescent officials.

Accompanied by Turkey’s Ambassador to the UN Feridun Sinirlioglu and Turkey’s Foreign Ministry’s representative in Hatay Serdar Cengiz, Bozkir also visited the buffer zone.

Later in the day, Bozkir visited the Boynuyogun Temporary Refuge Center in the Altinozu district of Hatay province.

Bozkir also inspected a vocational course and talked to Syrian orphans for a while in the Turkish Red Crescent Child Friendly Area and handed them gifts.

Syria has been embroiled in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

More than 5 million civilians have since been displaced, with Turkey hosting more than 3.6 million Syrians, the most by any country in the world.

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