For IRIN News:
The joint EU-Turkish action plan to end the migration crisis not only aims to make Europe a much less appealing destination – with threats of detention and deportation for all new boat arrivals to Greece – but also depends on making conditions more tolerable for the 2.7 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey.
One of the main factors driving Syrians to abandon life in Turkey and move on to Europe has been Ankara’s reluctance to lift barriers to the formal labour market. The announcement in January that – albeit with a number of caveats – all Syrians would be allowed to apply for Turkish work permits raised hopes that life would improve for the many refugees dependent on aid or working in the informal economy for low wages.
But the new regulations have yet to be completely implemented and are being described as prohibitively complex and costly. Non-Syrian refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere – who account for about 50 percent of arrivals to Greece – still lack the right to work in Turkey.
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