Turkey plans to introduce work permits for Syrian refugees, minister says
Turkey plans to offer Syrian refugees work permits to discourage them from crossing illegally into the EU, Ankara's minister for European Affairs said on Monday, amid EU pressure to reduce the flow of migrants...Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said the "draft" regulation has been adopted by the council of ministers and will be published in the coming days. Employers will be able have Syrians comprise up to 10 percent of their staff, although this condition may be waived by provincial governors in certain cases...More than 2.2 million Syrians have sought refuge in Turkey from the civil war, now in its sixth year. Another 200,000 Iraqi refugees also shelter there, and migrants from Iran, Afghanistan and Africa all use Turkey as a transit point to Europe...The Turkish government has been weighing plans to make it easier for Syrians to earn a living, but it has been hampered by a domestic unemployment rate of about 10 percent as economic growth slows. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians and other foreigners work illegally for low wages, but only 7,300 work permits have been issued, Kurtulmus said. Kurtulmus said under new legislation, refugees will be able to apply for a work permit specific to their place of registration six months after they register there.