George Sabra Explains Why He Acquired Turkish Citizenship

Some opposition figures could not travel because they had been in exile or without passports

Head of the Syrian National Council, George Sabra, confirmed that he and some members of the Executive Office of the National Council were given Turkish citizenship.


Other Syrian opppositionists who got citizenship include Samir Nashar and Hussein as-Sayyed.


Sabra told All4syria that the process of obtaining citizenship was initiated by Turkish authorities to resolve one of the dilemmas that hinder the work of the members of the National Council, and to facilitate the movement of its members.


Sabra added that during a meeting between the Turkish Foreign Minister and members of the Executive Office of the Syrian National Council, they discussed the problems and obstacles that hinder the work of the National Council and limit the movement of its members. One of those obstacles was the impossibility of travel for some members of the Council, either because they don’t have passports or their passports are expired.


Sabra explained that when he left Syria he used a French travel document because he does not have a Syrian passport after being barred from leaving the country in 1979 and was therefore unable to obtain a Syrian passport.


Media reports had said that a group of front row Syrian dissidents living in Istanbul have obtained Turkish citizenship, without giving reasons, and that the authorities in Ankara granted Turkish citizenship to powerful members in the Syrian National Coalition living in Istanbul, on top of their salaries and housing allowances. 


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer



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