Erdogan notes skills among Syrians as he proposes path to citizenship

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that he wants to grant citizenship to some Syrian refugees in the country, noting that some are highly qualified individuals.

So far, citizenship has been out of reach for most of the more than 2.7 million Syrians who came to Turkey since the start of the civil war in 2011. Most Syrians still lack work permits, despite a change to legislation earlier in the year.

In a speech in Istanbul and in comments to reporters, Erdogan warned that Turkey risks losing "skilled" Syrians to Western nations taking in refugees.

A government official confirmed there would be criteria for gaining Turkish citizenship, but these have yet to be defined.

Erdogan introduced the idea of granting citizenship on Saturday while visiting a refugee camp along the border. Just over 10 per cent of Syrians in Turkey live in camps.

Public opinion polls earlier this year showed an overwhelming number of Turks - up to four in five people surveyed in one poll - oppose the idea of granting citizenship.

Last update: Tue, 05/07/2016 - 19:07
Author: 

More from Europe

EU parliament rejects money laundering blacklist for being too short

European Union lawmakers Thursday rejected a blacklist compiled by the European Commission of countries deemed to be...

ECB leaves rates on hold as its ponders global uncertainties

The European Central Bank left its monetary policy on hold Thursday as it faces up to a slew of global economic and...

Britain's May woos investors, soothes voters in Davos

Britain will emerge as the global champion of free trade after leaving the European Union, British Premier Theresa...

Germany and Austria push for extension of border controls

Germany and Austria want to extend controls at their border amid ongoing security threats, the countries' interior...

Russia rejects European court ruling to pay former Yukos shareholders

Russia's Constitutional Court has rejected a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights to pay almost 2 billion...