Turkey grants work permits to 5,500 Syrians in 2016, ministry says

Turkey has granted work permits to 5,502 Syrian refugees in the first six months of the year, according to data from the Ministry of Labour published by local media on Friday.

6,586 Syrians had applied for permits.

Turkey has registered some 2.7 million Syrian refugees since the start of the civil war. Several hundred thousand have since gone to Europe, often taking boats, though this route was largely shut several months ago, following a deal with the European Union.

In January, Turkey enacted new legislation to make it easier for Syrians to get work permits, as part of an effort to stem the flows of migration to Europe.

A major complaint of the refugees was that they could not legally work in the country, pushing them to migrate.

The ministry data, published by newspaper Hurriyet, shows that last year about 4,000 Syrians were given work permits.

Recently, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has floated the idea of granting citizenship to Syrians in the country, noting that Turkey was losing skilled individuals to Europe. Polling data has shown granting citizenship remains generally unpopular.

In total, more than 38,000 foreigners from a variety of nations were given work permits in Turkey in the first half of the year, with Syria at the top of the list, followed by neighbouring Georgia.

Last update: Fri, 08/07/2016 - 16:10

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