Turkey closes down 6 refugee camps due to austerity measures

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Syrian children stand behind a fence at a refugee camp in the Kilis district of Gaziantep, southeastern Turkey, on October 23, 2016. France's foreign minister urged the international community to "do everything" to end the "massacre" in the Syrian city of Aleppo after fighting resumed following a 72-hour truce declared by Damascus ally Russia. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Turkey has closed down six camps for Syrian refugees due to austerity measures the government has taken amidst economic problems, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Thursday.

The move affected some 132,990 Syrian refugees.

According to the Interior Ministry, 76 percent of the refugees rented apartments with the help of allowances provided by the government. The remainder has been transferred to other camps.

Turkey operates 19 refugee camps, located primarily near the Syrian border.

The government estimates it will save TL 77 million ($14,5 million) with the closures.

The ministry also announced that there were officially 3.597 million Syrian immigrants in Turkey. Last year the number was 3.425 million.

Turkey has the largest refugee population in the world as it opened its borders after the beginning of the civil war in Syria in 2011.

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