Turkey offers residency to Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria
Published Wednesday 19/02/2014 (updated) 21/02/2014 16:33
ANKARA (Ma'an) -- The Turkish government has agreed to grant residency permits to Palestinians who have fled Syria for Turkey, the Palestinian ambassador to Turkey said in a statement.
Nabil Maroof said that the agreement means that any Palestinian refugee coming from Syria will be able to live, work, and study legally in Turkey.
The decision is the result of Palestinian officials' persistent efforts to reach this end since Palestinian refugees in war-torn Syria began fleeing to Turkey, Maroof said.
He said he had held several meetings with Turkish officials, including one with Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay, who had promised to improve the legal status of Palestinian refugees in Syria.
Approximately 250,000 Palestinian refugees have been forced to leave their refugee camps in Syria due to violence in the country.
Prior to the conflict, 600,000 Palestinian refugees lived in Syria.
Some 800,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes inside Israel during the 1948 conflict that led to the creation of the State of Israel, and today their descendants number around five million, spread across the world.