Turkey Announces Start of Process to Naturalize Syrian Refugees

Erdogan says Turkey has begun to give citizenship and work permits to Syrian refugees residing inside the country in an effort to reduce economic burden

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country had begun to give citizenship to Syrian refugees residing in the country after making a number of legal amendments concerning the granting of work permits in various sectors.

Erdogan’s comments came in a speech during the 71st session of the UN General Assembly currently in New York, according to the website Turk Press.

The president said that his country did not distinguish between the refugees arriving to Turkey and had received them all without ethnic or religious discrimination. He said that Ankara had worked to meet all their living needs, and added that the volume of Turkish spending had exceeded $12 billion and that the aid Turkey had received from other countries was only $512 million.

“We do not want to make camps the inevitable fate of Syrian refugees. There are about 300,000 out of 3 million living in the camps. The rest are living in houses and depend on themselves to secure their own needs. In order for them to be able to provide their needs we have given them work permits and have begun the stage of granting them citizenship,” he said.

Erdogan said that the Turkish leadership was completely familiar with the risks which were likely to result from the employment of the Syrian refugees on the social level but it did not regret giving Syrians a chance to work in the country.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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