Turkish government regulating working life for Syrian refugees

Turkish government regulating working life for Syrian refugees

Nuray Babacan ANKARA
Turkish government regulating working life for Syrian refugees

AFP Photo

The government has produced a plan to introduce new working regulations for the more than 1.6 million Syrian migrants in the country, guaranteeing them a registered minimum wage, as they are still officially considered “guests,” not refugees.

“We have finalized where and how the Syrians will work. We have marked the borders,” Labor Minister Faruk Çelik told Hürriyet, elaborating on a study by the Labor Ministry, which is set to be officially drafted.

The regulation will ban refugees from working in the tourism sector in particular destinations, but they will be able to work officially in certain fields so long as their total number does not exceed 10 percent of the sum of employees in the workplace.

 “We are making precise calculations on this issue. Syrians are already working illegally. We will keep a record of this and audit it,” Çelik said, vowing that the regulation will not affect the Turkish labor force.

“The labor deficit is higher in part-time and seasonal work. So we have brought in some limits for particular sectors and regions,” he added, also saying that all Syrian workers will have to be registered and will be paid at least the minimum wage.

Syrians will also not be allowed in places where they might pose security risks, and the Interior Ministry will be responsible for regulating this issue.

Employing Syrians as doctors or engineers, meanwhile, will be dependent on the related ministries, Çelik said.  
Turkey has been receiving Syrian refugees since unrest started roiling the neighboring country in 2011.