By Muhammed Boztepe
ANKARA (AA) - More than 3.6 million Syrians under temporary protection constitute the majority of foreigners living in Turkey, an official said Tuesday.
Turkey hosts a great number of foreigners from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, as well as Syria, Mehmet Sinan Yildiz, vice president of the Directorate General of Migration Management, said at a conference on effective implementations in the field of migration.
Turkey is rapidly trying to fulfill the security and basic humanitarian needs of Syrians who flee their land, Yildiz said.
Turkey also aims to provide them a space where they can live by maintaining their cultural and historical ties, he added.
Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
Some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.
Syria has been gripped by conflict since 2011 when demonstrations seeking democratic reforms were fiercely cracked down on by the Syrian regime.
More than half a million people have died in the ensuing conflict and millions more have been displaced as large swaths of Syria have been reduced to rubble.
*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz