President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a speech on Saturday that Turkey is set to grant citizenship to some of the nearly two million Syrian refugees the country has been hosting for years.
Stating that there are a number of Syrians in Turkey requesting citizenship, Erdoğan said “Our Ministry of Interior has been taking steps on the issue. Our ministry is going to do this through the help of an office that will be established; we will give citizenship to our brothers.”
Erdoğan’s speech came after an iftar dinner held in the southeastern city of Kilis. “It is worthy of appreciation how patiently our Syrian guests have been waiting for the salvation of their country, while living [in Turkey] in harmony,” the president said. He stated that he saw the Syrian refugees as his “brothers,” adding that Turkey is their own country, as well.
Erdoğan asserted that Turkey has been keeping the same position about Syria since the start of the civil war in the country. “The tyrant, who is in power in Syria, is the one who caused the current situation,” Erdoğan said.
The president commented that the current regime is incapable of keeping the Syrian people in unity. “This fact needs to be seen and acknowledged by everyone. What needs to be done is to form a new government that will meet all the needs of the Syrian people,” Erdoğan noted.