Turkey to tighten controls on refugees in big cities

Ankara: Turkey will tighten controls on non-documented refugees in big cities to ease the rising anti-immigrant sentiment among Turkish people, a local newspaper said in a report.

Turkish authorities plan to identify migrants living in cities such as Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir but are registered elsewhere in the country and send them back to their places of registration, Xinhua news agency quoted the Milliyet daily report as saying on Saturday.

According to the report, those who do not have a residence permit will be transferred to the refugee camps in the border zone in the southeastern part of the country.

Additionally, sanctions will reportedly be applied to workplaces owned by asylum seekers without work permits or necessary tax documents.

Turkey is home to over 4 million refugees, including 3.6 million Syrians, according to official figures.

In 2016, officials barred Syrian refugees who had been in the country under temporary protection status from leaving their designated places without a permit.

But despite the regulation, refugees have been continuously flocking to Turkey’s biggest cities, hoping to find more significant job opportunities and better living conditions.

Meanwhile, negative feelings towards immigrants, mostly triggered by a new influx of refugees from Afghanistan, have been on the rise among the Turkish.

Experts warned that the issue should not turn into violence against immigrants and mass anti-refugee demonstrations in the country.