By Merve Aydogan
Turkey on Tuesday became the 17th member state in the Vienna-based International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), according to the Foreign Ministry.
In a statement, the ministry said: "Turkey has joined the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) as the 17th member state. ICMPD, established in 1993 and based in Vienna, is an intergovernmental organization holding UN observer status."
The ICMPD aims to promote innovative, comprehensive and sustainable migration policies and to enhance cooperation in the field of migration, the statement said.
"It also serves as the Secretariat of the Budapest Process, one of the most important platforms gathering countries of origin and destination, that has been chaired by Turkey since 2006.
"As the largest refugee-hosting country with over 3.5 million Syrians and also as the most generous country with regard to humanitarian aid, membership to the ICMPD will enable Turkey to provide a concrete and comprehensive contribution to the work of the Organization," it added.
According to UN figures, Turkey currently hosts the highest number of refugees in the world: 3.9 million people, including 3.5 million Syrians.
Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.
While 230,000 refugees live in camps located in the southeast, the majority live in cities and towns across the country.