International

Turkey grants citizenship to 72K Syrian refugees

Ankara, Dec 17 (IANS) | Publish Date: 12/17/2018 12:03:23 PM IST

The Turkish government has granted citizenship to a total of 72,000 Syrian refugees, Hurriyet daily reported on Monday.

Turkey issued citizenship to 36,000 Syrian adults and 36,000 children, said Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu addressing lawmakers in parliament.

Some 3,80,000 Syrian refugee babies were born in Turkey, the minister said, expressing his individual wish to issue them citizenship as well. “That will be the biggest investment in our brotherhood for another century,” Xinhua quoted Soylu as saying.

A total of 28,000 of them had the right to vote in the June 24 elections and 36,000 Syrian refugees are now eligible to cast votes in upcoming local elections in March 2019, he added. Turkey has been hosting a large number of refugees since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011. 

The number of registered Syrian refugees in October stood at 3.59 million, according to the UN refugee agency.

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