“In the past eight years, 25,000 people, most of them women and children, died in the treacherous waters of Mediterranean,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
Addressing the closing ceremony of the International Migration Film Festival via a video call, Erdogan highlighted the grave dangers faced by migrants while they search for a better life, reports Anadolu Agency.
Erdogan also called on the people to set aside their differences and prejudices as the millions of migrants who leave their home countries due to war, instability, terror and poverty, also become invaluable contributors to their adopted homes and societies.
He said the migrants who died while trying to cross were also people who had set out with a hope for safe future, however, for many the journeys ended in death.
Migrations is a global phenomenon and Erdogan pointed that people migrate mostly to stay alive and feed themselves.
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“Today there are nearly 260 million migrants in the world, as well as over 71 million displaced and over 25 million refugees,” he stressed.
Turkey hosts 3.6 million refugees – the largest number worldwide, which makes one in every 23 people in the country, a refugee.
The International Migration Film Festival highlights the problems of migrants and is supported by Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry.
This year’s winner includes the Italian movie “Just Like My Son” which is the story of two brothers who escape the Taliban’s persecution of the Hazara community in Afghanistan.
The movie, directed by Constanza Quatriglio, won for Best Inspiring Script in the International Feature Film Competition.