HDP co-chair calls for referendum on Turkish citizenship to Syrians
ANKARA – Doğan News Agency
AA photoPeoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has called on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to hold a referendum on his suggestion to grant citizenship to Syrian migrants, arguing that such a plan would only “ignite further racism” against Syrians in Turkey, who number up to three million.
“They are using Syrians as a tool of domestic politics. First of all, the president has no such jurisdiction to decide on this by himself. But if he trusts himself so much, then OK let’s take it to referendum,” said Demirtaş.
“Without convincing the people and by only fueling the racist, chauvinistic wave against our Syrian brothers by fueling nationalism, you cannot solve this issue,” he added, saying racism will be triggered more when people are told that Syrians would be granted citizenship due to inequality, poverty, and unemployment in Turkey.
Demirtaş also warned that there are concerns in Turkey’s east about the “geographic annotation” of migrants, and he slammed plans to grant state Housing Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) homes to Syrians becoming Turkish citizens, saying such a move would not be based on any existing law.
“He [Erdoğan] is saying ‘there are lawyers and doctors among them.’ So he is personally going to select which migrants to take too,” added Demirtaş.