Syrians in Turkey under Temporary Protection: From Guest Status to Citizenship
Author/s: Ahmet Koyuncu
Year: 2018 Vol: 3 Number: 2
Beginning in the wake of the Arab Spring that occurred in 2010, 3,070,000 Syrians have taken refuge in Turkey following the war and conflicts experienced in the region that is Syria. The country of Turkey, which as of today has four million people in different statuses like immigrant, asylum seeker, refugee, and temporary protection/guest who have become homeowners, hosts the most “asylum seekers” in the world at the same time. Temporary protection status, as an exceptional procedure under international law, has been provided to Syrian citizens taking refuge in Turkey. In other words, every need of theirs is accepted in the position of “guest” in the sense of being met by the state, because the temporary protection status assumes the victims of the Syrian war will return to their homes with the war’s end. However, the war in Syria has not yet come to an end, nor does its finish seem possible in the short term with current conditions. This situation reveals the temporary protection status to be non-sustainable. While on one side debates lead on related to the problems arising from temporary protection status in this process, on the other, debates related to granting citizenship to Syrians residing in Turkey who add value to the country have gained speed. However, the most neglected point in this process is perhaps “What do we think about the issue of giving Syrian individuals citizenship?” In this context our study is focused on the debates of citizenship from the eye of Syrians. How Syrians in Turkey evaluate the debates on citizenship and their convictions related to citizenship have been discussed from an analytical perspective with motion from qualitative research data conducted over 125 Syrians with different socio-economic levels from January to May 2017.