A total of 201,471 Syrians who were granted temporary protection status in Turkey left the country in 2022, according to an annual monitoring report released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Citing figures from the Turkish Presidency of Migration Management (PMM), the report said there are more than 5.2 million foreign nationals present in Turkey, 3.9 million of whom are seeking international protection.
Turkey, under its temporary protection regime, has granted 3,535,898 Syrian nationals the right to legally stay in the country. The vast majority, 3,488,373 of them, live outside camps, while 47,525 Syrians reside in seven camps, the IOM said.
There was a decrease of 3,946 Syrian nationals in the camps’ population in 2022.
Seven camps (Temporary Accommodation Centers), run by the PMM, are situated in five southern provinces — Adana, Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Osmaniye and Kilis — that were hit by devastating earthquakes in early February.
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck near the Turkish city of Gaziantep – home to around 2 million people and on the border with Syria – as people were sleeping on February 6 was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a 7.5-magnitude temblor that jolted the region in the middle of search and rescue efforts the same day.
Attitudes about refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria have gradually hardened in Turkey, where they used to be welcomed with open arms, sympathy and compassion, as the number of newcomers has swelled over the past decade.
Xenophobia, hate speech and hate crimes against Syrian refugees are increasing in Turkey as the country prepares for upcoming elections, and politicians from far-right parties have been fueling anti-Syrian sentiment in regions hit by the earthquakes.
IOM is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration and part of the United Nations system.