29 Jul 2015
The Social Security Institution (SGK) has announced that work permit requirements for Syrians vary depending on the type of asylum to which they are subjected. For those who have been granted refugee status, a work permit is not required since the paperwork they complete enables them to be employed in Turkey. However, most of the Syrian population in Turkey does not have this status.
A large number of Syrians have conditional refugee status, which is given to asylum seekers who receive temporary protection from the government. Syrians under temporary protection are required to get a work permit and a residence permit since their protection identity cards do not pass as those documents, unlike the identity cards of immigrants with refugee status. A fully laid out set of rules and regulations is yet to be prepared; therefore, most Syrians are not receiving work permits from the government.
Syrians in Turkey are widely regarded as cheap, unskilled labor, and many establishments are uninformed about work permit requirements and details regarding employing Syrians. Companies that employ an immigrant without a work permit can also be fined heavily. Currently, there are about 1.8 million Syrian immigrants in Turkey who have not been granted a work permit. Very few Syrians completed the necessary paperwork in an orderly fashion before seeking asylum in Turkey. These immigrants are allowed to find jobs in Turkey without getting a work permit, but their numbers are around 5,000. Meanwhile, Turkish Agricultural Credit Cooperatives President İrfan Güvendi commented on the subject, stressing that Syrian and Afghan asylum seekers should be allowed to receive work permits to work as shepherds.
Güvendi said there is a need for 50,000 shepherds in Turkey, as there is currently low demand for this type of work. Güvendi suggested that there should be courses given by people who have worked in this sector with a certificate awarded upon completion. Güvendi said that shepherds currently work for between TL 3,500 ($1,273) and TL 5,000 a month and that farmers and people in the agriculture business are having difficulties finding personnel for farm work. These people do not want to employ asylum seekers illegally but need them to work on their farms.