Minister suggests Syrian children born in Turkey should be granted citizenship

Minister suggests Syrian children born in Turkey should be granted citizenship

ANKARA
Minister suggests Syrian children born in Turkey should be granted citizenship

Some 380,000 Syrian babies were born in Turkey since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has said, adding that he wished “they could receive Turkish citizenship.”

“In Turkey, 380,000 Syrian children were born [since 2011]. I wish parliament could help children receive Turkish citizenship from the moment they are born,” Soylu said on Dec. 16, addressing parliament.

Granting Turkey-born Syrian children citizenship is the “biggest fraternity investment” the country can make, Soylu said.

“Up until now, we have given Turkish citizenship to 36,000 [Syrian] adults; they have 36,000 children. In the last elections, 28,000 of them [Syrian adults] had the right to vote. If you make a calculation based on adult numbers, at most 36,000 [Syrians] have the right to vote in this election,” the minister said.

Turkey is home to more than 3.6 million refugees from Syria, the world’s largest refugee population.

The vast majority of the refugees live alongside the Turkish population, while the remaining 144,036 people are sheltered in camps, according to figures released by the Interior Ministry on Dec. 6.

The majority of the Syrians live in 10 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, Istanbul, Şanlıurfa, Hatay, Gaziantep, Adana, Mersin, Bursa, İzmir, Kilis, and Konya.

Istanbul hosts the largest number with 558,115 refugees, making up 3.71 percent of the province’s entire population.

‘22 percent decrease in femicide cases’

Also touching on the number of femicides in Turkey during his speech, he said the number of women killed in the country so far was 245, a 22 percent decrease from 353 in 2017.

“In the number of women murders per 1 million population, Turkey ranks 19 out of 26 countries with the figure of 3.8 per 1 million. The U.K. and the Netherlands, with a number of 3.9, France with 4.1, Germany with 5.1, Switzerland with 5.3, making them in a worse situation than us,” he said.

According to figures released by the Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu (We Will Stop Femicides Platform), a women’s rights organization that monitors violence against women, the number of murders committed against women was registered as 285 so far in 2018. This number was 409 in 2017.

A poll conducted earlier this year by Istanbul’s Kadir Has University had said that violence is by far the biggest problem that people think women face in Turkish society.

The surveyed participants had demanded from policymakers to develop policies to fight violence against women across the country.

Syrian children, Turkey, citizenship, Süleyman Soylu, Interior Minister