More than 124,000 foreigners received Turkish citizenship over the past 10 years, Interior Minister Muammer Güler has said, according to reporters.
Over the past 10 years, 124,647 foreigners received Turkish citizenship, Güler said on behalf of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in response to a parliamentary question from main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Muharrem Işık. Güler said that 44,040 Bulgarians, 15,588 Azerbaijanis, 7,518 Russians, 6,723 Northern Cypriots, 6,335 Afghans and 3,700 Syrians received Turkish citizenship.
Marriages between Turks and Russians have increased considerably over the last 20 years, in parallel with increased trade ties between the two countries. Many people of Turkish origin are also living in Bulgaria. Turkey currently hosts around 150,000 Syrian refugees after a violent conflict broke out in the country.
In 2012, 39,185 foreigners received permission to work and 52,538 foreigners received residence permission for educational reasons, said Güler.
Meanwhile, 354,016 Turks, voluntarily or involuntarily, are deprived of their citizenship. Güler said 8,244 people have been excluded from Turkish citizenship, while 327,946 people voluntarily surrendered their citizenship rights. A total of 17,826 people have lost their citizenship rights. In one case, a person was stripped of their Turkish citizenship for serving abroad in a position that goes against the interests of Turkey, added Güler.