German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser stated to the Bild newspaper on Saturday that “this is emergency relief.” “We want to remove all barriers so that Turkish or Syrian families living in Germany can bring their immediate family members home from the catastrophe area.”
She said that standard visas will be used for this, and they would be quickly issued and valid for three months.
The choice was made after the number of earthquake-related fatalities exceeded 29,000 on Sunday. Both nations have experienced mass displacement.
More than half of the 2.9 million persons of Turkish descent who call Germany home also have Turkish nationality.
The Syrian community is also large and is estimated at 924,000 since former German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the borders to refugees in 2015 and 2016.
There had been 118,000 Syrians in Germany in 2014.
“As the German government, we want to help ensure that families in Germany can temporarily take in relatives affected by the earthquake if they no longer have a roof over their heads or need medical treatment,” Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Twitter on Saturday.
Baerbock said the foreign and interior ministries had formed a “task force” to start the initiative.
“The aim is to make visa procedures as unbureaucratic as possible for those affected. We have increased staff at foreign missions in Turkey and reallocated capacities,” added Baerbock.
The accelerated and priority visas are intended to benefit people who have been particularly affected individually by the disaster, who may be in danger of becoming homeless, for example, or have suffered injuries that require treatment, the dpa news agency reported.
It added that the scheme is designed for victims who wish to seek refuge in Germany and stay with first- or second-degree family members who are either German citizens or who have a permanent residence permit.