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Not all Syrian migrants to get citizenship, Deputy PM says

Türkiye Materials 12 July 2016 07:46 (UTC +04:00)
Not all of Turkey’s nearly three million Syrian refugees will be offered citizenship, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters on July 11, saying the aim is to offer Turkish IDs to qualified and educated Syrians “with a clean record.”
Not all Syrian migrants to get citizenship, Deputy PM says

Not all of Turkey’s nearly three million Syrian refugees will be offered citizenship, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters on July 11, saying the aim is to offer Turkish IDs to qualified and educated Syrians “with a clean record.”

“Studies are being conducted on how those Syrians who can be of benefit Turkey, who have never been involved in acts of terror, and who could serve as a bridge between Turkey and Syria, could become Turkish citizens,” Kurtulmus said at a press conference during a break in the weekly cabinet meeting.

“There are highly qualified people with important occupational abilities and vast knowledge among our Syrian brothers and sisters,” he added, underlining that the details of a planned citizenship scheme are yet to be fully worked out by the Interior Ministry, which is tasked with deciding on citizenship applications.

“As of now, our Interior Ministry has not yet completed its work on [offering] citizenship to Syrians,” Kurtulmus said, stressing that concerted efforts are ongoing.

He was also asked about a bloody fight that erupted between Syrians and Turks in the Central Anatolian province of Konya on the night of July 9, which cost the lives of two people and wounded three others.

While describing the incident as “worrying,” Kurtulmus suggested it was a “local incident” and could have been the result of a “provocation.”

“The incident in Konya is a worrying incident but I would like to repeat that such incidents may arise as a result of local [things], or provocations,” he added, stressing that he did not believe efforts to “trigger xenophobia and racism in Turkey” would ever succeed.

“One should evaluate this as a local incident,” Kurtulmus said, praising the “distinction” of Turkish culture for being able to absorb three million refugees.

A lively debate over the possible granting of citizenship to Syrians commenced after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on July 2 that the option is on the table.

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