Turkey is home to some 4.7 million foreigners from 192 countries, according to an official of migration office.
“It is not just Syrians living in Turkey. Today, we have 4.7 million foreigners among us. They contribute Turkey’s culture and create added-value,” said Gokce Ok, deputy head of migration office of Interior Ministry, speaking at a meeting in central Konya province on Tuesday.
Ok said Syrian civil war forced oppressed people to flee to Turkey.
“Among these people, there are managers of multinational corporations; doctors, engineers, scientists and athletes. Throughout the history, Anatolia has been an attraction center, more like a mosaic,” he said.
Also, Aydin Keskin Kadioglu, a senior official from the communications department of migration office, said Turkey would always welcome the oppressed victims regardless of their language, religion, color or ethnicity.
Recalling Turkey’s open-border policy since 2011, Kadioglu said, “Today in Turkey, there are more than 3.6 million documented Syrians, who are under temporary protection status.”
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed or displaced in the conflict, mainly by regime airstrikes targeting opposition-held areas.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas