Refugee stories ‘priority’ for Anadolu Agency

Syrian refugee stories are among the top priorities of Anadolu Agency, the agency's Deputy Director-General and Editor-in-Chief, Metin Mutanoglu, has said.

"Covering the issue of Syrian refugees is a priority for us. We have a wider news network in the northern regions of Syria compared to other global news agencies," Mutanoglu told a panel on Syrian refugees organized by the Suleyman Demirel University in the central-western province of Isparta Monday.

Highlighting the fact that Turkey is currently hosting nearly three million Syrian refugees, Mutanoglu said Turkey is a "safe haven" for Syrians, where the hospitality of Turkish people helps them forget about their problems "even if in part."

Mutanoglu said Anadolu Agency often runs stories about the integration process of the Syrian refugees living outside the camps.

"Our colleagues often write interesting real life stories of Syrians. For example, there are Syrian kids being trained at amateur sports clubs. This is a sign that they are slowly integrating into the Turkish society," he said, adding that marriages between Turks and Syrians were also contributing to the process of "removing barriers."

Mutanoglu also noted that a large number of Syrians were working within the agency.

The issue of Syrian refugees hit the headlines again Monday as the first migrants to be returned to Turkey under a deal with the EU arrived from the Greek island of Lesbos Monday morning.

Under an agreement between Turkey and the EU, "irregular migrants" will be returned to Turkey from Greece in a one-for-one exchange for refugees in Turkish camps.

Around 2.7 million Syrians who have fled the civil war in their country are being sheltered in Turkish camps.

Source: Anadolu Agency