Turkey hosts largest refugee population in world
ANKARA – Bülent Sarıoğlu
Turkey has the largest refugee population in the world, according to a two-year study conducted by the Turkish Parliament’s Refugee Subcommittee that operates under the Human Rights Committee.
Turkey currently hosts approximately 4.3 million refugees, the report said.
Of the millions taking refuge in Turkey, 3.4 million reside in the country under Turkey’s temporary protection.
The remaining 600,000 refugees have residence permits, the report showed.
The refugee population amounts to the equivalent of Turkey’s third largest city, surpassing the western province of İzmir, according to the 2016 survey.
As the third largest city, the refugee population equates to the combined population of the next 21 largest cities. Turkey has 79 cities altogether.
The report also showed that 300,000 more individuals have made asylum requests to Turkey in a bid to flee their homelands in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Somali and others.
Looking ahead, the committee would continue its work under the name “Migration and Adaptation Committee,” Subcommittee Chairman Atay Uslu said.
The numbers provided in the report reveal only the size of the refugee population and not the ratios with the growth domestic product (GDP) or the population of the country, according to criteria used in United Nations surveys.
211 undocumented migrants caught
A total of 211 undocumented migrants were caught in Turkey’s northwestern province of Edirne, according to a gendarmerie source on Jan. 19.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said Turkish border soldiers and gendarmerie forces carried out inspections in several villages of Edirne and in Uzunköprü, Meriç, and İpsala districts.
During the inspection, 211 irregular migrants who were trying to cross into Greece and Bulgaria were captured, the source said.
Among the migrants were Syrians, Palestinians, Bangladeshis, Afghans, Pakistanis, Iranians, Iraqis, Libyans, Moroccans and Sri Lankans.