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Turkey grants Syrians right to work, but is it too little, too late?

Ankara has finally granted Syrians the right to work in a belated move to stop more highly qualified refugees’ flight to Europe.
A Syrian man who had fled the war in his homeland stands outside shops run by Syrians in a low-income neighborhood of Ankara, Turkey, September 29, 2015. Nearly five years after the conflict in Syria began, Turkey has shouldered the brunt of the humanitarian burden, sheltering at least 2.3 million Syrians, the largest refugee population in the world. But tensions are simmering between Turk and Syrians as it struggles to integrate a population that does not speak the language and is largely prevented from wo
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In mid-January, Turkey finally granted Syrian refugees the right to work legally, five years after the influx from its war-torn southern neighbor began. However, many of the more highly qualified Syrians who fled to Turkey have already made their way to Europe, either as selected migrants or by braving clandestine sea and land journeys.

In dealing with the incessant wave of refugees, Ankara had focused on accommodation, and the issue of work permits was not treated as a priority. Similarly, combing out more highly qualified, well-trained Syrians and benefiting from them was not seen as something worthy of quick action. An overwhelming number of working refugees were employed illegally in low-paid, unattractive jobs.

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