Via Middle East Monitor – Granting citizenship to Syrians in Turkey is a topic of discussion today more than ever before. So far, more than 50,000 Syrians have acquired Turkish citizenship. This has ignited debates among the Turkish public, primarily due to the provocative media coverage of the topic and increasing nationalism in Turkey.
Citizenship is considered a pillar of any long-term integration process. In this regard, there have been two major undertakings regarding the naturalisation of Syrians in Turkey: the change of discourse about Turkish citizenship and the change in practices of granting citizenship to Syrian refugees.
Via Refugee News Turkey – Some 311,000 babies of Syrian origin have been born in Turkey under the stateless status, according to the Turkish Parliament’s Refugee Subcommittee that operates under the Human Rights Committee.
During summer 2016 the Turkish government first announced to grant Turkish citizenship to some Syrians. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that the first steps have been taking on providing Turkish citizenship to Syrians. In a first stage 30.000 to 40.000 would be granted citizenship, in a move that could grant a total of 300.000 Syrians citizenship.
Via Hürriyet(link in Turkish) – TheRefugee Rights Commission of the Turkish Parliament explains that since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, 276.000 Syrian babies born in Turkey stay in an ‚haymatlos‘status and thus face a risky future with neither Turkish nor Syrian identification papers. By the end of September 2017, the number of Syrian babies born in Turkey was at 276.158 and the details of the report are as follows.
The German-Turkish newspaper taz gazete on the public discourse on Syrian refugees in Turkey:
“The initial welcoming culture has long since been replaced by resentments and hate speech. The option of naturalization fuels the discussion on Syrian refugees.
In last week of July, the Turkish parliament received a draft law on the naturalization of migrants, of which especially Syrian refugees would profit. At the same time, hate towards refugees is growing in the Turkish society. In daily life, they are being racially haressed and instrumentalized by politicians according to their political agenda. In re-occuring situations of conflict with the EU, Erdoğan, who normally stages himself as the saviour of the ‘muslim brothers and sisters’, threatens to put all refugees in busses towards Europe.”
The Halklarin Köprüsü Derneği (association of bridging people) published a position paper on the debate regarding granting the right to citizenship to Syrian refugees in July 2016. The topic is not current anymore, but we think that the paper contains a lot of important claims and demands.
Via Halkların Köprüsü– We re-issue a report by the association Halkların Köprüsü (Bridging Peoples) in Izmir, who visited refugees after they got attacked by locals in Torbalı in April this year. Having spoken to many people involved in the incident, they claim that in order to avoid such tensions in the future, the state should provide them with a safe and long-lasting legal status as close to citizenship as possible.