5 Ocak 2011 Çarşamba

Turkey will become more of a target country for economic migrants

Justin Vela      AOL    

The total number of people who enter Turkey every year illegally is unknown. Most leave Turkish territory quickly, and the only figures available come from Turkish authorities, who Corabatir says detain an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 illegal entrants every year. Some academics estimate that Turkey has between 200,000 and 400,000 illegal migrants entering the country every year.

Even if asylum seekers were granted refugee status in Turkey, Corabatir said, the UNHCR would still seek to resettle them in third countries. "They cannot stay in Turkey forever and enjoy full refugee rights," he said. "Their access to social benefits and the right to work is very limited in Turkey."

Despite this, the number of people seeking refugee status in Turkey had increased in recent years. In a trend that might bring relief to Greece, Turkey's economy is developing rapidly, and immigrants who are focused on work possibilities as supposed to refugee status are finding more opportunities there.

"In some cities like Istanbul and Izmir, some people will earn money and be happy," said Corabatir. "This is a new phenomenon. We think Turkey will become more of a target country for economic migrants."
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