Istanbul, bridge over the Bosphorus

More than a million foreigners live in Istanbul

5.3 million foreign nationals live throughout Turkey, of which 3.7 million are Syrian refugees.

There are more than a million foreigners living in Istanbul today, many of them citizens of other countries who live in the city for work, but also some 535,000 Syrians residing in the Turkish metropolis, most of them as refugees under a temporary protection status provide by the Turkish government.

The information has been revealed by the governor of the province of Istanbul, Ali Yerlikaya, who in this way wanted to respond to the metropolitan mayor of the city, Ekrem İmamoğlu, after he recently assured that there were 2.5 million foreigners living in Istanbul, including both refugees and foreign citizens with residence permits.

However, according to the governor of Istanbul, as of November 1 there were about 645,000 foreign citizens with residence permits living in Istanbul, to which must be added about 535,000 Syrians, mainly refugees. In total, there are 1.18 million foreigners currently residing in Istanbul and its province, according to official data.

The governor also pointed out that more than 19,000 foreigners have been repatriated this year for being in an irregular situation; the data presented by Yerlikaya was confirmed by the General Agency for Migration Management, which also issued a statement indicating that there are 5.3 million foreigners throughout Turkey, including this data both foreign citizens with residence permits and people who are under temporary protection or with refugee status.

The agency added that in October, the number of Syrians under temporary protected status in Turkey was a total of 3.7 million people. Istanbul tops the ranking both for number of foreigners residing in the city and for number of Syrians; second place is for the Southeastern province of Gaziantep, with some 459,000 Syrians living in its territory, followed by the Mediterranean province of Hatay – which borders Syria – with 437,000.