Istanbul, Eminönü in Fatih district

Istanbul will limit residence permits to foreigners in some districts

Since January 15, the granting of residence permits to foreigners has been restricted in two districts of Istanbul.

Turkish authorities have decided to limit applications for a residence permit to foreigners who want to reside in various districts of Istanbul, according to information published in the Turkish media.

As announced in a statement by the General Office for Migration Management, from now on the granting of residence permits will be restricted for the districts of Esenyurt – located on the outskirts of the European side of Istanbul – and Fatih, which covers the historic peninsula of the ancient Constantinople.

The official statement adds that applications made as of January 15 will not be accepted, although international students will be exempt from the restrictions under certain requirements: “For foreign students to be exempt from the restriction, the universities where they study must be within the limits of their districts of residence ”, indicates the statement.

Although the reasons for applying this measure are not detailed, it is known that both Esenyurt and Fatih are two of the districts of Istanbul with the largest populations of Syrian refugees who, after fleeing to Turkey escaping from the civil war in their country , settled in the Turkish metropolis, where many shops and businesses are in fact already run by Syrians.

According to the census data on the foreign population of Istanbul, Esenyurt is the district with the largest number of resident Syrians, with an estimated population of 127,000, which is equivalent to almost 1 in 9 residents in the district; the historical district of Fatih is home to 81,000 Syrian residents, while the populous Bağcılar district is in third place: 79,000 of its nearly 750,000 inhabitants are of Syrian origin.