ANKARA,11th January, 2016 (WAM) — Turkey plans to offer Syrian refugees work permits in order to encourage fewer of them to migrate to Greece, Volkan Bozkir, Turkey’s Minister for European Affairs said on Monday, amid EU pressure to reduce the flow of migrants, Reuters has reported.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, SPA, Bozkir was speaking after meeting European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who last week said the European Union was far from satisfied with Turkey’s efforts to prevent migrants from crossing the Aegean Sea to Greece.

“We are trying to reduce the pressure for illegal migration by giving Syrians in Turkey work permits,” Bozkir told reporters after meeting Timmermans in Ankara.

The number of people immigrating illegally exceeded 150,000 in 2015, and Turkish authorities were stopping 500 migrants daily, Bozkir said.

More than 2.2 million Syrians have sought refuge in Turkey from the civil war, now in its sixth year.