Foreign minister vows Turkish citizenship for Lebanon's Turkmen population

The Turkish government is prepared to grant citizenship to Lebanon’s Turkmen population, who wish to become Turkish nationals, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Saturday.

Turkey stands behind the people of Lebanon following the deadly blast in Beirut and Ankara is ready to provide Turkish citizenships to those in the country who self identify as Turkish or Turkmen on the instructions of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Çavuşoğlu as saying in the Lebanese capital.

“We also stand with our kin, the Turks and Turkmens in Lebanon and around the world. We will grant Turkish citizenship to our brothers who say ‘I am Turkish, I am Turkmen,’ and express their desire to become a citizen,” Çavuşoğlu said, referring to ethnic Turks who have lived in the region since the 11th Century. 

“These are our [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan’s instruction,’’ he said.

Çavuşoğlu is accompanied by Vice President Fuat Oktay on a visit to Beirut following Tuesday’s devastating explosion in the Lebanese capital, which killed at least 158 people and left more than 6,000 others injured.

Six Turkish nationals were hurt in the explosion, Çavuşoğlu said earlier this week, five suffering minor injuries while one underwent surgery.