Turkish citizenship … Syrians fear it will be taken away from them

Syrians in Turkey live in constant anxiety (Chris McGrath / Getty)

While Syrians who benefit from temporary protection in Turkey continue to suffer from hate speech and discrimination against them, those holders of extraordinary citizenship today fear that it will be withdrawn from them in conjunction with the removal of a number of naturalization files.

Many Syrians who had previously obtained Turkish citizenship are living with anxiety after Turkish opposition parties promised to reconsider their previous files and the possibility of withdrawing their citizenship if the opposition comes to power in next year’s election. This is what the leader of the opposition “Victory” Party in Turkey, Umit Ozdag, has repeatedly threatened. The concern is not limited to the refugees who have obtained the exceptional citizenship, which Ozdag stressed the invalidity of granting their citizenship “legally” because they are under the provision of temporary protection, but the concern also extended to the Syrian investors who obtained citizenship by depositing sums of money in banks or by buying real estate, especially after a claim by a trade union Lawyers in Istanbul eventually sued the Supreme Administrative Court over the decision to grant Turkish citizenship in exchange for financial investment in real estate or to suspend bank accounts. The union justified its assertion that “the concept of citizenship, which expresses legal and political ties, should not be stripped of its essence and made in exchange for money,” speaks of the lack of “a specific regulation or conditions relating to the granting of citizenship in exchange for financial investment, unlike the rest of the regulations and conditions relating to the acquisition of citizenship. ” Turks ”.

Syrian-Turkish Adnan Hassan, who lives in the Asian side of Istanbul, does not hide his constant concern about the “high tone of the opposition and his focus on the withdrawal of extraordinary citizenship from Syrians, after using hatred and discrimination not, all with the aim of winning the street in the elections.What more than one official in the opposition said has become We are suspicious, despite all the reassurances, and we ask more than a lawyer and legal source . “

Hassan’s fears are growing because his whole life, he says, is “programmed according to the new situation, whether it’s work or education for the children. We did not try to immigrate to Europe, and we dreamed of ( Turkish) citizenship and I and my family took it, “asks,” After six years of my stay in Istanbul and obtained On work permit, what can happen if citizenship is revoked? Hassan adds: “I know these are just threats , but there are those who tell us that the opposition can withdraw our citizenship under many pretexts if it prevails in Parliament and accepts the presidency. How can we defend ourselves and prove the opposite? The pen will be in their hands and the authority with them. We do not deny that Turkey is a state governed by the rule of law, but the law is formulated or interpreted by those who have the power to pursue their interests. “Hassan goes on to say, to withdraw citizenship of refugees, as it is illegal, even if the majority vote means that it is possible to strip us of Turkish citizenship. “

Hassan asks, “Where can we go? If our citizenship is truly withdrawn, let us enforce it out of caution and preparation for the worst. Can they force us to return to regime-controlled areas?”, Pointing out that “all opposition parties have a relationship, in one way or another, with the regime. ” Syria, and promised to return the refugees and restore relations between the two sides. To him, “it’s really scary, even if the lawyers’ answers (on this issue) refute the threat of the opposition,” and he points out that “thousands of Syrians withdrew files while in the final stages of the mechanism. for obtaining citizenship, despite the lack of reasons to do so, according to what he said number of people who experienced it.

The number of Syrian children granted Turkish citizenship is 87,296 (Monique Jacques / Getty)

revocation of citizenship

Amid the ups and downs associated with the naturalization file, Ismail Chatakali, spokesman for the assistant minister of home affairs and ministry, denied the news circulating about the suspension of files of 15,000 foreigners, and in statements explain that “the cancellation of naturalization applications comes individually, not collectively. On the other hand, the Deputy Director of Integration and Communications at the Directorate of the Turkish Immigration Department, Gökçe Ok, said in a personal interview that the files of approximately 15,000 foreigners were removed from the naturalization applications, but not all the deleted files not. belong to Syrians, “though they arranged first.” Ok added that in Gaziantep alone 1,400 people’s files were deleted, and the remaining requests are in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Hatay, Kilis, Şanlıurfa, Adana and Mersin.

In this context, the head of the Lawyers’ Association in Turkey, Ghazwan Kronfol, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “granting citizenship to non-citizens of the state is a sovereign right and an aspect of state sovereignty. Similarly, it is the state that some people choose, and they are invited to submit their papers and specific identification documents, After that, they are either granted citizenship or not, they are not obliged to do so, and there are studies, evaluation and many reasons that govern it. ”

On the Syrians’ concerns about the withdrawal of their Turkish citizenship if the opposition takes power, Kronfol confirms what Çatakali said about “the process of withdrawing citizenship is an individual process, not a collective one, and it is not. “It is possible to say that citizenship has been revoked from all Syrians just because they are Syrians. This procedure is unconstitutional and cannot be done by any ruling party.” However, Kronfol points to “legal reasons that allow the Turkish government to revoke citizenship, whether from a Syrian who has Turkish citizenship or even from a Turkish citizen by birth. And whoever obtained citizenship, whether he was Syrian, French or Afghan by birth. , the law protects him as soon as he becomes a Turkish citizen. ” For these reasons, Kronfol says that it is “summed up in the work for a foreign country or for the benefit of its intelligence and the performance of a service that conflicts with the interests of the Turkish state, or to work a country that is at war with Turkey is., or even voluntarily perform military service in a foreign country without obtaining permission from the Turkish government Citizenship may also be withdrawn in the event of the assassination of the President of the Republic.

When asked about exceptional citizenship and its legal texts related to revocation or withdrawal, Kronfol replied that “there are two reasons for those with exceptional citizenship; Other than that, there is no reason or text that would enable Turkey to obtain citizenship. of Syrians. ” Kronfol emphasizes that “there is no need for people who have acquired Turkish citizenship in an exceptional way, as they have acquired citizenship and are able to exercise their citizenship fully and unconditionally.”

On the other hand, the Director of Immigration and the Moral Support Center in Nizip, in the Turkish countryside of Gaziantep, Jalal Demir, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “the fears of Syrians who have acquired citizenship are justified and legitimate, knowing that the withdrawal of their citizenship is impossible regardless of the form of government or who is governed.They are Turkish citizens.After a sovereign decision by the Turkish state, and in the event that citizenship of any of them or of any other Turkish withdrawn, this comes based on the violation of the constitution or threat to Turkey’s security or other texts related to high treason and the like.

There are fears among Syrians in Turkey that the opposition will take over (Ozan Koussa / AFP)

Numbers and exaggerations

Demir says of “there is a difference between withdrawal and waiver of citizenship, as Turkish Citizenship Act No. 5901 waives Turkish citizenship to obtain citizenship of another country at the citizen’s request and with the approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs Reliable indications that he has obtained the citizenship of another country, that he is not wanted for any crime or military service and that he has no financial or criminal constraints.

Regarding the number of Syrians who have acquired Turkish citizenship and their weight in the ballot boxes, following the recent statements of the head of the “Victory” Party, Umit Ozdag, in which he said that between 180 and 200 people obtain Turkish citizenship daily. across the country, Demir explains that “according to the statistics of the Ministry of The number of Syrians who obtained citizenship after meeting the required criteria reached 200 950, including 113 654 adults, 60 930 men and 52 724 women, while the number of children reached 87 296. In addition, about 26 000 foreign investors, not only Syrians, also obtained citizenship, after buying real estate, contributing to investments or depositing amounts of money in US dollars in Turkish banks, provided that first after three years.

Demir regrets “the jokes we have heard about the granting of citizenship to Syrians, that the government grants citizenship in secret or by mobile buses to win time and votes before the election. Imagine where the lies and concerns reach has.”

constant argument

The General Directorate of Soul Affairs and Turkish Citizenship has denied the allegations surrounding the granting of Turkish citizenship to foreigners under secret laws and decrees, and explained in a recent statement that the representatives are constantly targeting government institutions and institutions with false accusations and statements about their mechanism of work. The directorate points out that these targets distract the institutions from their work and their important agenda, and push them to work to try to clear up the lies and allegations that are being spread.

The Directorate’s statement states that “the procedures for obtaining Turkish citizenship are carried out in accordance with the Grant of Citizenship Act No. 5901, issued on 29 May 2009, in addition to the adoption of provisions for the implementation of the law and many clear and explicit procedures in regulations. ” The directorate added in its statement that what is being said about secret laws it accepts in the transactions to grant citizenship to foreigners is a “big lie”, and what is being said about not publishing the names of those who are Turkish acquired citizenship in the Official Gazette are “false allegations” that have nothing to do with reality, and note that their application is the applicable law issued in 2009, which adopts the same method today as it adopted when it came into force. The numbers of naturalized persons transferred between individuals and published by some parties are also “false”, and all transactions and documents relating to nationality are in the official records.

Ozdag made a press statement near the General Directorate of Souls and Citizenship Affairs, in which he criticized the directorate’s unwillingness to publish the names of those who had obtained citizenship in the Official Gazette, claiming that this was the actual number for the Turkish hide. people. However, the response of Home Affairs Minister Suleyman Soylu explained that foreigners who had acquired Turkish citizenship could not influence the demographic structure in Turkey, and that the widespread information about the number of citizenship holders and the method of granting them was fabricated and lies that have nothing to do with reality.

Leave a Comment