Syrian refugee children pose as their mothers check free clothes baskets on the street of the historical neighborhood of Balat, Istanbul, Turkey | Photo: EPA/ERDEM SAHIN
Syrian refugee children pose as their mothers check free clothes baskets on the street of the historical neighborhood of Balat, Istanbul, Turkey | Photo: EPA/ERDEM SAHIN

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has urged the parliament to allow Syrian children born in Turkey to become citizens. This could possibly pave the way to birthright citizenship.

Addressing parliament, the minister said that, since the start of the conflict in Syria in 2011, "380,000 Syrian children were born in Turkey." He continued: "I hope that parliament can help these children get Turkish citizenship."  

Over 3.5 million Syrian refugees are currently living in Turkey. "So far, we have given Turkish citizenship to 36,000 (Syrian) adults," Soylu told the members of parliament. "In the last elections, 28,000 of them had the right to vote." 
 
4,000 detained at Turkey border in a week 

Over the past week, Turkish authorities have detained 3,821 people who were apprehended as they were trying to cross Turkey's border with the European Union or enter the country illegally, the Turkish interior ministry reports. They included 547 people who were intercepted at sea. The ministry also said that a total of 226 suspected human traffickers were arrested over the same period. 

Since a controversial agreement between Turkey and the EU in March 2016, the number of migrants travelling to the EU, especially Greece, from Turkey has decreased significantly.

 

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