Clarification: Ziraat Bank’s Employment Initiative and SME Loans for Refugees

The recent news report stating that “Ziraat Bank is mandating the employment of Syrian or refugee workers to facilitate SME loans” has been clarified as inaccurate.

The Directorate of Communications Center for Combating Disinformation, which operates under the Presidency, has issued an official statement addressing the misleading news article titled “Ziraat Bank is imposing a requirement to hire at least one Syrian or refugee for SME loans.” This news was circulated by certain media outlets.

According to the statement, the employment initiative in question is part of the “Turkey Registered Employment Project.” This project is financially supported by a fund established by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with the primary objective of addressing the needs of refugees, especially in the areas of economic, educational, and social integration.

It is important to clarify that Turkish businesses seeking to access this international fund must employ both individuals under temporary protection status and Turkish citizens. The statement emphasizes the following key points:

  1. No Financial Burden on the Turkish Treasury: Contrary to misconceptions, these initiatives do not impose any financial burdens on the Treasury of the Republic of Turkey. The international fund is aimed at enhancing the employment prospects of Turkish citizens.
  2. Fund Disbursement Process: The disbursement of funds is coordinated through a network of public and private banks that have signed agreements with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization (KOSGEB).

In light of these clarifications, it is evident that the news article titled “Ziraat Bank is requiring at least one Syrian or refugee to employ at least one Syrian or refugee to provide loans to SMEs” lacks factual basis and perpetuates misinformation. The overarching objective remains the responsible and inclusive integration of refugees into the Turkish workforce, without imposing undue burdens on local businesses or the national budget.

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