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Germany to issue emergency visas to Turkish, Syrian quake victims

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Germany will grant three-month visas to Turkish and Syrian earthquake victims with family in the country, the interior minister said on Saturday, Agence France-Presse reported.

“This is emergency aid,” German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told the daily newspaper Bild.

“We want to allow Turkish or Syrian families in Germany to bring their close relatives from the disaster area to their homes without bureaucracy.”

The deadly earthquake killed over 28,000 people.

Faeser said that those eligible can have “regular visas, issued quickly and valid for three months.”

The joint initiative with the foreign ministry would allow victims to “find shelter and receive medical treatment” in Germany, she added.

Around 2.9 million people of Turkish origin live in Germany, with more than half holding Turkish nationality.

The Syrian community is also large and is estimated at 924,000 since former German chancellor Angela Merkel opened the borders to refugees in 2015 and 2016.

There had been 118,000 Syrians in Germany in 2014.

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