Author : Hurriyet Dailynews
Posted : March 25, 2017
Some four million Syrians in Turkey will be granted citizenship if “yes” votes emerge in the April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on March 25.
“Did those (four million Syrians) come to Turkey due to the parliamentary system? Who brought them from Syria? Now they are saying ‘We will grant four million Syrians citizenship after ‘yes’ votes emerge.’ We should all sit and think,” Kılıçdaroğlu said speaking at a party event in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
In July 2016, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan raised eyebrows when he suggested that Syrians in Turkey could be granted Turkish citizenship if they filed an application and met a number of criteria. He further detailed the plans during his return trip from a NATO summit in Warsaw on July 11, 2016 suggesting that “dual citizenship” could be granted to applicants.
Erdoğan’s proposal had been slammed at the time by members of all three opposition parties at parliament in Ankara as a move aimed at garnering the votes of Syrians and tilting the sensitive demographic balance in Turkey’s southeast.