Turkey offers to grant its citizenship to Syrian migrants

Istanbul (News Agency): President of Turkey, Recep Erdogan has offered to give Turkish citizenship to all Syrian migrants. Addressing Syrian migrants as brothers and sisters, President Erdogan also announced that they should consider Turkey as their own motherland. The declaration has drawn connection to Turkey’s relentless attempts to be a part of European Union and to restore it’s relations with Israel and Russia.

Turkey offers to grant its citizenship - President Erdogan

But this declaration from Erdogan has given rise to sharp reactions from the citizens of Turkey as well as the opposition parties in Syria. On Saturday night, in a meeting with the Syrian migrants that took place in Kilis, a place near the Syrian border, Erdogan made this declaration of granting citizenship to their Syrian migrants by stating, “I want to give you some good news. Turkey is offering its Syrian friends the opportunity to attain citizenship of Turkey. If they wish they can avail this opportunity. Turkey considers you as its brothers and sisters. You are not very far away from your motherland; you have only left behind your houses and land. Consider Turkey to be your motherland.” In these words President Erdogan offered Syrian migrants to remain permanently in Turkey. The Ministry of Internal Affairs would soon announce the process”. But the President did not state what would be the criteria and how many migrants could get citizenship. Presently, there are nearly 2.5 million Syrian migrants living in Turkey. Even if many of them have found their way to Europe, there are thousands of new migrants coming due to the constant conflict in Syria. According to International Institute of Statistics, due to the war-like situation in Syria, nearly 10 million Syrians have been displaced and of these more than 400 thousand have sought refuge in countries like Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. A majority of the migrants are in Turkey but they have not been given the status of official citizens.

Some months ago, Turkey, in agreement with the European Union had decided to stop the illegal immigration and to grant citizenship to a few thousands. In these circumstances, the sudden announcement to grant citizenship has caused a stir. Analysts claim that the main reason behind the declaration is another attempt by Turkey to be a part of the EU. At the same time some have drawn the attention to Turkey’s attempt to improve its relation with Israel and Russia. But the political parties in Syria opposing the Assad regime and the people of Turkey has opposed this announcement.

Because of this decision by President Erdogan, plans designed by Russia, US, Israel, along with the President of Syria, Assad will be strengthened, claims the Opposition. The people of Turkey have started to voice their disapproval on social media. They have also started a campaign “I don’t want Syrians in my country”. Some have even said that the President alone cannot make such a decision and have demanded a referendum.