Number of Syrian migrants in Turkey surpasses 3.2 million
Fevzi Kızılkoyun - ANKARA
The number of Syrian migrants in Turkey has surpassed 3.2 million, according to statistics released by the Interior Ministry’s Directorate General of Migration Management.
The statistics said the total number of Syrian migrants who were registered with biometric IDs reached 3,208,131 as of Sept. 28.
The ministry has been continuing its efforts to update its lists of registrations in order for Syrians to benefit from sheltering, healthcare, education, labor and social aid services.
According to the statistics, the highest number of Syrians are living in Istanbul with 511,308. Turkey’s largest city is followed by the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa with 445,584.
A total of 416,598 Syrians are registered in the southern border province of Hatay and the southeastern province of Gaziantep ranked fourth in the list with 341,649 migrants.
There are 166,332 Syrians in the southern province of Mersin and the number decreases to 165,028 in the neighboring province of Adana.
In Kilis, another southern border province, 128,306 Syrians are registered and the northwestern province of Bursa ranks eighth with 123,376 migrants.
The statistics showed a total of 117,434 Syrians are living in the western province of İzmir and the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş ranks 10th with 95,431.
While Istanbul ranks first in hosting the highest number of Syrian migrants, the ratios of Syrians to Turks living in border provinces are strikingly high.
The population figures show the number of Syrians have nearly equalled the number of Turks in Kilis, which has a population of 130,655.
In Hatay, which has a population of 1.5 million, the population of Syrians has reached more than one fourth of the residents.
According to official numbers, Turkey hosts some 4.5 million migrants, including Syrians. Iraqi migrants follow Syrians with nearly 250,000 of them living across Turkey.
Other than migrants, there are a total of 591,982 foreigners in Turkey with residence permits, which was 461,217 in 2016.
While the number of foreigners with residence permits was 163,326 in 2009, the number has been on a steady rise, except for a brief decrease in 2013.
The number of foreigners with permits was announced as 321,548 in 2012, however the number is seen to have decreased to 313,692 in 2013.
There are six types of residence permits in Turkey: short-term, family, student, long-term, humanitarian and those for victims of human smuggling.
Moreover, efforts to apprehend human smugglers and save victims are continuing in 2017. Turkey has 28 shelters for victims of human smuggling and hosts 242 people as of Sept. 15.
While the number of victims was 21 in 2013, it has been increasing ever since, with 50 in 2014, 108 in 2015 and 181 in 2016.