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Syrian refugees could become Turkish citizens: President Erdogan

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Ankara – Addressing the refugees in the southern town of Kilis, which borders Syria and is home to tens of thousands of migrants. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Syrian refugees living in Turkey could eventually be granted Turkish citizenship.

“I want to announce some good news,” Erdogan said late on Saturday at a dinner to break the Ramadan fast in Kilis province, on the Syrian border.

“We are going to help our Syrian friends in offering them the chance, if they want it, to acquire Turkish nationality.”

Erdogan added. The Interior Ministry will shortly announce how the citizenship procedure would work. “We regard you as our brothers and sisters. You are not far from your homeland, but only from
your homes and your land Turkey is also your homeland,” he said.

According to the United Nations refugee agency. More than 2.7 million Syrian refugees live in Turkey and by offering refugees citizenship, it would be easier for them to get jobs or attend school.

In 2011, Ankara has refused to grant refugee status to Syrians, referring to them as “guests”. Only a select group have been granted work permits and residency.

Syria has been going through a brutal civil war since 201 and it doesn’t show signs of ending anytime soon. Nearly 250 000 people have been killed in the conflict and more than 10 million have been displaced, according to the UN. Around four million people have taken refuge in neighbouring countries.

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