More than 3.7 million Syrians under temporary protection in Turkey


The number of Syrians under temporary protection rose to 3.72 million at the end of September, official data updated by the Directorate General of Migration Management revealed.

The three provinces with the largest number of Syrians are respectively Istanbul (532,726), southeast Gaziantep (457,890) and southern Hatay (436,861).

It has been determined that 3.66 million of the 3.72 million Syrians live outside shelters. The largest capacity temporary accommodation centers are located in the southern provinces of Adana, KahramanmaraÅŸ and Hatay.

The proportion of Syrians of the total population reached 26.4% in Hatay, 21.95% in Gaziantep, 20.19% in the south-east of Şanlıurfa and 12.73% in the south of Mersin. While the majority of children are 9 years of age or younger, those aged 19 to 24 are the second largest group. About 250,000 more Syrian men than women have been identified in Turkey. Some 1,868 Syrians over the age of 90 are accommodated in Turkey under temporary protection.

The number of Syrians resettled in third countries between 2014 and 2021 remained at 7,923. Canada led the way in accepting 8,700 Syrians while the United States received 4,081 and the United Kingdom 2,540. Between 2014 and 2021, Luxembourg accepted 46 Syrian settlers, while three Syrians were sent to the Netherlands and one to France.

Under the individual exchange agreement, the number of Syrians leaving Turkey has reached 30,219. According to this practice, for every Syrian returned to Turkey from the Greek Islands, another Syrian in Turkey is resettled in the countries of the EU.

At the end of September, the number of irregular migrants apprehended stood at 109,708, with Afghan, Syrian and Pakistani nationals occupying the top three places.

It has been more than 10 years since the first group of Syrian refugees, made up of 250 people, entered Turkey, starting their new life in the country after fleeing war and persecution from the Assad regime.

Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Turkey has supported moderate opposition groups against the Assad regime and has opened its doors to those who had to flee the country for their lives. Turkey receives more Syrian migrants than any other country in the world. The country is also leading humanitarian aid efforts for Syrians in Turkey and in opposition-controlled areas in northern Syria. Refugees are widely adopted by the public, but some opposition parties and figures often seek to fuel xenophobic and anti-refugee rhetoric.

Turkey has made significant investments in its social cohesion policies to enable Syrians to integrate smoothly into Turkish society. In addition to 33,000 university students, more than half a million Syrian children are enrolled in schools across Turkey, according to UNICEF. In these schools, children learn the Turkish language as well as other subjects. The integration of children into Turkish schools was one of the policies interrupted by the coronavirus, as schools across the country were closed and education continued through distance education. Many Syrians live in overcrowded homes and many may not have the necessary equipment for their children to continue their education online.

Yet while children find themselves working instead of going to school, Syrian women tend to remain unemployed. Only 6% of Syrian women work in the country’s labor market. The overall activity rate of Syrians in Turkey is 38%. Although some Syrians own or co-own businesses with Turkish nationals, a large number of Syrians in Turkey work in the service sector. According to UN figures, more than 130,000 work permits have been granted and more than 10,000 Syrian entrepreneurs have had the opportunity to set up a business in Turkey.


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