UN welcomes Turkish plan to grant citizenship to refugees
Syrian refugees are seen crossing the border into Turkey. (AFP/File)
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UN Secretary General spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, on Wednesday welcomed Turkey's plan to grant citizenship status to Syrian refugees it hosts.
He said the international community is “thankful” for Turkey’s efforts to help easy the of refugee crisis that has burdened countries in the region.
“I think the international community are extremely thankful for all of what the Turkish government and the Turkish people have done in showing great hospitality to millions of Syrians who have taken refuge or come through Turkey,” Dujarric said during a session at UN headquarters in New York. “Anything that will make their life easier and improve it would be very much welcome.”
Ankara is mulling the idea of granting citizenship to the more than 2.7 million Syrians in Turkey, mostly living in southern cities and major metropolitan areas.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Wednesday condemned domestic opposition to the plan, calling opponents “evil-minded”.
On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Ankara was in the process of offering citizenship to Syrians who “can be of use to Turkey, who have never been involved in terrorism, and who can create a bridge between Turkey and Syria.”
The move was hinted at earlier this month by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who said millions of Syrians living in Turkey would have the chance to become citizens in the country that has given them shelter.
By Canberk Yuksel
Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material.
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