Only 25 pct of Syrians to leave Turkey after war ends: Gaziantep boss

Only 25 pct of Syrians to leave Turkey after war ends: Gaziantep boss

Ceyhun Kuburlu - GAZİANTEP
Only 25 pct of Syrians to leave Turkey after war ends: Gaziantep boss

CİHAN photo

Only 25 percent of Syrians who are currently in Turkey will return to their country in the event of peace in their country and Turkish people must learn to live with them, according to a leading businessman in the southern province of Gaziantep. 

“Even if the war ends in Syria, only 25 percent of Syrians will leave Turkey to return to their own country. We need to live together with them,” said Abdulkadir Konukoğlu, chairman of Turkish conglomerate Sanko Holding. 

Located near the border with Syria, Gaziantep, where Sanko Holding is based, is one of Turkey’s industrial motors, and also hosts a large number of refugees from its war-torn neighbor.

Konukoğlu touched on complications in the local labor market due to the refugee situation, saying his company previously had difficulties in finding unemployed people to work in factories as people generally preferred to work in the service sector rather than manufacturing industries.

“Syrian people are now very active in the service sectors. Many Turkish people now want to work in our factories due to the job shortage in other sectors,” he said. 

Konukoğlu added that almost all new graduate engineers expected to be an executive as soon as they start working, meaning that the company has difficulties in finding young engineers who will learn by working with senior blue collar workers at the beginning. 

“A newly graduated engineer must work together with senior blue collar workers at any factory to learn what to do … Things used to be done in our factories in the past, but new graduates today don’t want to under any senior blue collar workers. They usually just ask about when they will become an executive,” he said. 

Sanko Holding, founded in 1943, mainly focuses on textile production, but is active in diverse sectors, from energy to construction. It employs 12,000 people across Turkey, according to its website.