Turkish citizenship for Syrian refugees?

Ankara wants to give Syrian refugees Turkish citizenship. President Erdoğan initiated the process at the beginning of the month. The opposition is accusing him of trying to win the votes of grateful new citizens in this way. All just a political strategy?

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Diken (TR) /

Citizenship for Syrians not a solution

Erdoğan’s intention to give Syrian refugees Turkish citizenship is pure political calculation, according to the liberal web portal Diken: “There are a million Syrians in this country. So far you [Erdoğan] haven’t even given them refugee status, you haven’t offered them a decent existence. You haven’t bothered to think about how they might be integrated in society. You haven’t made any effort in that direction. Not to have done even these things, and then suddenly to announce that you want to give the Syrians citizenship, doesn’t mean you want to solve the problem. No, you are pursuing a different goal. For a government that really wanted to solve the problem wouldn’t have started the job by handing out citizenship, but would instead have taken account of the sensibilities of all social strata."

Sabah (TR) /

White Turks only know how to hate Arabs

The Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (CHP) on Tuesday proposed holding a referendum on the question of Turkish citizenship for Syrians. The opposition is clearly forgetting that in the times of the Ottoman Empire many refugees were naturalised, comments the pro-government daily Sabah:

“The 'white' [pro-Western, elitist] Turks are extremely tense. While the narrative about hairy, short-legged men [from Anatolia] is losing its power the fear of women in black veils and snotty-nosed children is starting to spread. The racists and fascists are at least more honest; they say openly that they don't want them here. Yet on the whole the Turkish people have a moderate stance. Taking into account Muslim solidarity perhaps they aren't enthusiastic about the Syrians, but some of the boastful children of the elites would do well to remember that they themselves are the children of immigrants, albeit from the Balkans! … Yet today's Arabs are not allowed to come.”