Turkey has granted residence permits to 589,473 foreign nationals since 2005, according to data compiled from the country’s migration authority on Dec. 12.
In 2005, there were 178,964 foreigners residing in Turkey legally. That figure had risen to 461,217 by the end of 2016, according to data compiled by state-run Anadolu Agency in conjunction with the Directorate General of Migration Management.
The authority also accepted 128,256 foreigners’ applications for residence in the first 11 months of 2017, data revealed.
Istanbul was the top host city with 290,509 residence-permit holders, while capital Ankara was second with 51,705 foreigners. The Mediterranean resort city of Antalya was third with 49,677 people having legal permission to stay in Turkey.
The eastern province of Tunceli, on the other hand, has granted residence permits to only 32 foreigners in the past 13 years.
A total of 55,983 Iraqi nationals were granted residence permits between 2005 and 2016, followed by 48,738 Syrians. Azerbaijan nationals came third with 39,184, followed by Turkmenistan and Russian citizens, with 24,253 and 21,006 respectively.
According to the Law on Foreigners and International Protection, the residence permit allows foreign nationals to reside in a certain place in the country for a fixed or indefinite length of time.
Turkey provides six types of residence permit: Short-term, family, student, long-term, humanitarian, and residence permit for victims of human trafficking.