TURKEY

Turkey's migration body calls for fair burden sharing

A fair burden sharing is necessary for a better future for our society and migrants, said an official from Turkey's Interior Ministry.

"Otherwise, we might face a new crisis in Turkey, Greece and Europe," said Abdullah Ayaz, who heads the migration management department at the ministry, at an event in Brussels.

Ayaz recalled that Turkey hosts the largest number of migrants in the world, almost 4.8 million migrants, 3.6 of whom are Syrians.

He said there are more than 900,000 residence permit holders in Turkey and they are expected to reach a million at the end of 2019.

Explaining that they have made serious efforts for migrants from Syria and other countries, Ayaz said: "We provide immigrants with access to basic public services, such as health and education. We are also trying to integrate them into the labor market."

Ayaz stressed that 2 million Syrians in Turkey were at working age and said their integration into the labor market was not easy.

He went on to say that for a better migration management, the root cause for migration should be searched for in their countries of origin.

Turkey has been a main route for irregular migrants trying to cross to Europe, especially since 2011, the start of the Syrian civil war.

Over 265,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Turkish Interior Ministry.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

According to UN figures, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed or displaced in the conflict, mainly by regime airstrikes in opposition-held areas.

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