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Syrian refugees in Turkey, burden or cheap labor?

The influx of Syrian refugees into the labor market has become a big advantage for business owners in Turkey’s ongoing economic crisis, but their employment may fan social tensions as the country’s army of jobless grows.
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Speaking at an international gathering on migration last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey had spent over $37 billion in “national resources” on Syrian refugees, who numbered more than 3.6 million in the country in January.

How the $37 billion sum is calculated remains unknown. Figures available in the budget and annual programs are not even close to Erdogan’s expenditure tally. Opposition parties claim that Ankara exaggerates its assistance, arguing that a significant part of the refugees earn a living as cheap workers, without government help. What is the true scale of assistance and to what extent do Syrians sustain themselves by working?

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