Turkish citizenship to be granted to 7,000 Syrians

Turkish citizenship to be granted to 7,000 Syrians

Nuray Babacan – ANKARA
Turkish citizenship to be granted to 7,000 Syrians Turkish citizenship will be granted to a total of 7,000 Syrians after months of work on the issue.

Preparatory work on the issue was completed two weeks ago and the executive order on granting citizenship to 7,000 Syrians was presented and opened to signing in the cabinet meeting. 

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been determining a list of highly qualified Syrians who “will not create a security problem” for the last two years. The initial list is expected to be announced after the signatures are completed. 

Representatives of the government previously said the initial number of Syrians who would become Turkish citizens was determined to be 10,000 and the total number would gradually reach 30,000. 

Work on the issue was carried out jointly by the Interior Ministry’s Directorate General of Migration Management and the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs. 

Priority was reportedly given to educated Syrians and the list was then sent to the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) and police in order for them to review it in terms of “national security,” public security” and “criminal records.”

Those approved by both intelligence teams and police were kept in the list. 

According to official data from the Interior Ministry, the number of Syrians in Turkey is close to three million. Ten percent of these refugees are living in a total of 26 camps run by the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and nearly 2 million of them are women and children. 

The other refugees were dispersed across all provinces, with the border province of Kilis and the southeastern province of Gaziantep topping the list. 

According to information shared by the ministry upon a question from main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul lawmaker Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi, a total of 216,340 people were granted Turkish citizenship between 2010 and 2017. 

Bulgarians, Syrians and Azerbaijanis topped the list of those granted citizenship in the aforementioned seven years.

Some 12,000 Syrians were granted citizenship in the last seven years and the number is 409 for the first six months of this year.