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Turkey's Rising Anti-Refugee Sentiment Adds to Erdogan's Challenges

The hosting of millions of migrants has become a major political issue for the president ahead of 2023 elections.

A housing project initiated by Turkey in Idlib, Syria, in May.
A housing project initiated by Turkey in Idlib, Syria, in May.

Photographer: Cem Genco/Anadolu/Getty Images

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During shifts as a factory interpreter, Syrian refugee Khalil Al-Hossein nervously tracks his application for Turkish citizenship. Just over the nearby international frontier, meanwhile, Turkey is accelerating its construction of housing, schools and hospitals on the plains of northern Syria hoping to lure exiles like him back home.

The contrasting priorities reflect two sides of a migration crisis a decade in the making that’s approaching a pivotal juncture.