More than 113,000 Syrians immigrants gain right to vote in Turkish elections
A Turkish migration official said on Wednesday (May 18) that more than 113,000 Syrians can now vote in Turkish elections.
A total of 200,950 Syrians were granted Turkish citizenship and 113,654 of them are over the age of 18 and have the right to cast their ballots in Turkey's elections, said Gokce Ok, director of Compliance and Communication of the Migration Administration of Turkey, in a public debate.
Most of Turkey’s estimated six million refugees are from Syria. According to the migration authorities, Turkey hosts the highest number of Syrian refugees in the world.
It hosts roughly 3.7 million registered Syrian refugees under temporary protection status. They have been given this status on the prediction that they will return to their homeland.
As the political and economic cost of hosting the world’s largest refugee population threatens Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's popularity before elections, he announced that the government plans the voluntary return of 1 million Syrians to their homeland.
He said: “We are now preparing a new project that will enable the voluntary return of 1 million Syrian brothers and sisters."
The promise to return almost a quarter of Turkey’s roughly 3.7 million registered Syrian refugees comes as opposition parties attack the government’s immigration policy ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections in June next year.