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Turkey: Govt. announces plans to give Syrian refugees work permits, but measures expected to include restrictions

Government says Syrian refugees in Turkey to be given work permits

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Article
12 January 2016

Turkey plans to introduce work permits for Syrian refugees, minister says

Author: Ercan Gurses & Mert Ozkan, Reuters

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.

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Article
12 January 2016

Turkey to let Syrians work in bid to stem refugee flow into EU

Author: AlJazeera America

Turkey plans to offer work permits for Syrian refugees, an official said Monday, announcing a step that was praised by advocates for refugees, although the policy is primarily aimed at slowing the flow of refugees into Europe...Until now, all but 6,000 of the 2.2 million Syrian refugees in Turkey have been barred from entering the formal labor market, mainly due to concerns they will displace Turkish nationals in the workforce. Turkey’s unemployment rate is about 10 percent...Advocates for refugees have long called for host countries to give refugees the right to work legally, which is stipulated under the Geneva Convention but not always observed. While officials have raised concerns in Jordan and other countries in the region about stoking societal tensions if local populations perceive refugees to be “stealing” their jobs, advocates say that allowing refugees to work can be beneficial to the country in the long term.

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