The Silver Lining of the Turkey-EU Refugee Deal: Pushing Ahead with the Integration of Syrian Refugees into Turkish Society

The Silver Lining of the Turkey-EU Refugee Deal: Pushing Ahead with the Integration of Syrian Refugees into Turkish Society

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Gallia Lindenstrauss

One of the repercussions of the Syrian civil war is that Turkey has become host to the largest number of refugees in the world. While initially Turkish perceptions were that the refugees would return to Syria after the end of the conflict, there is a growing recognition that at least half of them will remain in Turkey. This acknowledgment has required Turkey to rethink its policies toward its Syrian “guests.” The thorniest issues have been the question of granting work permits and citizenship to some of the refugees. The claim put forward in this article is that the attention these issues gained in 2016 can partly be explained by the Turkey-EU refugee deal, which suggests that despite the criticism against it, it has also had a positive effect in promoting the integration of Syrian refugees into Turkey.