UN welcomes Turkey’s refugee citizenship move
NEW YORK – Anadolu Agency
REUTERS photoU.N. Secretary General spokesperson Stephane Dujarric on July 13 welcomed Turkey’s plan to grant citizenship status to a number of the Syrian refugees it is hosting.
He said the international community was “thankful” for Turkey’s efforts to help ease the refugee crisis, which has burdened many countries in the region.
“I think the international community is extremely thankful for all of what the Turkish government and the Turkish people have done in showing great hospitality to millions of Syrians who have taken refuge or come through Turkey,” Dujarric said during a session at the U.N.’s headquarters in New York. “Anything that will make their [refugees] life easier and improve it would be very much welcome.”
Ankara was mulling the idea of granting citizenship to the more than 2.7 million Syrians in Turkey, who mostly live in the country’s southern provinces and major metropolitan areas.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on July 13 condemned domestic opposition to the plan, calling opponents “evil-minded.”
On July 12, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said Ankara was in the process of offering citizenship to Syrians who “can be of use to Turkey, who have never been involved in terrorism and who can create a bridge between Turkey and Syria.”
The move was hinted at earlier this month by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said millions of Syrians living in Turkey would have the chance to become citizens in the country that has given them shelter.