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Turkey spends over $600 mn on Syria refugees

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Turkish government has spent more than $600 million (450 million euros) on feeding and housing Syrian refugees, the prime minister was quoted as saying Friday.

"Our overall spending thus far has exceeded $600 million," the daily Hurriyet quoted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying.

Some 170,000 Syrians who have fled the violence engulfing their country are being housed at refugee camps in Turkey located near the volatile border.

More than 70,000 Syrians are believed to be living in cities across the country.

Turkey has maintained an open-door policy for Syrian refugees fleeing the violence which the United Nations says has killed more than 60,000 people.

Erdogan said his country would continue to provide shelter for fleeing Syrians.

Turkey has also welcomed the exiled Syrian opposition's political and military leadership.

Ankara fell out with one-time ally Syria after the regime unleashed a deadly crackdown on protests in March 2011, and has joined in Arab and Western calls for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130208/turkey-spends-over-600-mn-syria-refugees