Turkish gov't starts work to grant citizenship to Syrians
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJul 05, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jul 05, 2016 12:00 am
Amid the discussions regarding the granting of citizenship to Syrian refugees in Turkey, the government projects their social integration by focusing on eight different areas.
According to a report appearing in Hürriyet daily on Monday, works are being carried out by seven ministries together with 14 institutions and several NGOs towards enabling Syrian refugees to acquire Turkish citizenship, which will be eased through either reform of the citizenship law, or a decree by the cabinet, which seems the more likely option.
During the process, the integration of Syrian refugees will focus on eight areas: asylum, education, health, economy and working life, social adaptation, local administration, security and civil society.
Those who meet the eight criteria, including acquiring the Turkish language and having a clear criminal record and social adaptation, will be investigated by the General Directorate of Migration Management of the Interior Ministry as well as intelligence units. Applications will be accepted from those who pass all phases. Those who committed a crime or disturbed public order will lose this right.
Once Syrians acquire citizenship, they will be able to work in any sector without delay, and employers will be allowed to employ Syrians without a quota. Under their current temporary protection, Syrians have to wait six months after official record of their protection before applying to the Labor Ministry. Their work permits may be suspended in provinces where public order is in danger, and the number of Syrians in a workplace cannot exceed 10 percent of the Turkish employees.
Regarding medical issues, those who became citizens will have to pay their share at hospitals and pharmacies, whereas the temporary protection does not require payment. Provided they have sufficient income, they will also be required to pay insurance premiums.
As they will be allowed to enjoy the right to vote and stand for election, men aged 18 to 30 will be required to carry out military service, as a condition of Turkish citizenship.
Those who become citizens will have to enter university entrance exams like other Turkish citizens, and will lose their current right to enter the universities without entrance exams, according to quota.
Those Syrian refugees who have specific qualifications as scientists, artists, athletes and experts might be offered accelerated citizenship.
Atay Uslu, head of Parliament's Refugee Rights Committee spoke to Daily Sabah on Sunday and said work is still underway to prepare the regulation, adding that Turkey will not waste the economic potential of Syrians.
"There are plenty of Syrians living in Turkey who are qualified in scientific and academic fields. I do not know how many will be granted citizenship, but not all of them will enjoy this right. This will be on a voluntary basis. It will happen after a certain process. Those who are to receive a Turquoise Card or residence permit will enjoy this right after some years of residence."
The Turquoise Card is a work permit that grants foreigners the ability to gain employment in the country by officially allowing them to work indefinitely. Parliament is working to implement this policy.