By Bahattin Gonultas
Turkey issued 73,584 work permits to foreigners in 2016, which is an increase of nearly 14 percent from 2015 when 64,833 were given out, according to official figures on Wednesday.
Some 73,584 foreigners out of 86,467 applicants were given permission to work in the country by the Minister of Labor and Social Security, data released by the ministry showed.
Syrians topped the list with 13,298 permits. Since a decree was issued in January 2016, Syrians have been allowed to get work permits.
Turkey has adopted an open-door policy towards Syrian refugees since 2011 by opening its borders to those fleeing the ongoing civil war. Turkey now hosts more than 3 million refugees.
Syrians were followed by Georgians (7,635), Ukrainians (5,593), Chinese (4,397), Turkmen (3,474), Kyrgyz (3049), Uzbeks (2,435), Indians (1,970), Russians (1,966), British (1,191), Germans (1,165) and Americans (1,134).
Out of the total permits, 35,619 were for women, while the rest of 37,965 were for men.
Also, some 9,432 applications were returned, 968 applications remain under examination, while 2,483 foreigners were rejected for various reasons.
In 2015, the ministry issued permits to 64,833 foreigners; in 2014, the number was 52,304.