By Ali Atar
ISTANBUL (AA) – Syrians have deposited around 1.2 billion Turkish liras in Turkey’s banks so far this year, the official banking regulation authority in the country said Tuesday.
According to the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, Syrians deposited 1,199,632,000 Turkish liras in Turkish banks in the first quarter of the year.
As the number of Syrians living in Turkey increases, the amount of the money Syrians deposit in Turkish banks is also increasing, the agency said.
In 2012, assets of Syrians in Turkish banks totaled 311,258,000 Turkish liras; 694,369,000 Turkish liras in 2013; 733,875,000 Turkish liras in 2014 and 1,201,987,000 Turkish liras in 2015.
Anadolu Agency's Financial Analyst Islam Memis said rich Syrians had converted considerable amounts of their cash to U.S. dollar following the loss in value of the Syrian lira.
"Rich Syrians have converted their cash money to dollar [and] invested in either real estate or food sector. You can see restaurants and kiosks with Arabic name plates everywhere in Turkey," he added.
*Anadolu Agency Correspondent Sibel Ugurlu contributed to this report from Ankara.