Turkey is home to over 4 million refugees, Interior Minister Soylu says

Turkey is home to a total of 4,038,857 refugees from around the world, according to the latest figures provided by Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Monday.

Speaking to parliament’s Planning and Budget Committee, Soylu said 3,731,028 of these were Syrian refugees who are residing in Turkey under temporary protection status. The number of refugees with international protection status is 307,829.

An additional 1,251,569 foreigners with residence permits live in Turkey, raising the total number of non-Turkish nationals residing in the country to 5,290,426.

According to UNHCR Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees worldwide. Anti-immigrant sentiment is nearing the boiling point, fueled by Turkey’s economic woes. With unemployment high and the price of food and housing skyrocketing, many Turks have turned their frustration toward the country’s foreign residents, particularly those who fled the civil war in Syria.

Turkish media, including pro-government and opposition outlets, fuel and exploit the flames of hatred against people who fled their countries and sought refuge in Turkey.

In August a group of locals attacked Syrian refugees, their houses, workplaces and cars in Ankara’s Altındağ district, chanting anti-Syrian and fascist slogans. Images on social media showed dozens of angry people throwing rocks at homes, smashing shops and cars and burning merchandise looted from shops believed to belong to Syrian refugees.

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