Turkey began issuing new identification cards to Syrian refugees, although it stopped short of granting them official refugee status, which would give them greater benefits, such as health care and education.

Some 1.6 million Syrian refugees entered Turkey from their war-torn country, which has seen opposition forces try to oust President Bashar Assad, Islamic State militants kill thousands and more than 200,000 killed since the start of fighting four years ago.

Andrew Gardner, Turkey researcher for Amnesty International, called the new measure “a big step forward.”

“The fact that the refugees’ rights and entitlements have been written into law should mean that authorities better implement them,” Gardner told the New York Times.

Still, not all Syrian refugees are rushing to get the new ID cards, and some have their sights set on Europe because they still do not have the right to work in Turkey. A separate proposal is aiming to allow refugees to apply for work permits with their new ID cards – something that might irk Turkish citizens who are unemployed, according to the Times.

“Most Syrian refugees live in urban areas, and the conditions are deteriorating as winter sets in, but none of their real needs, like housing, are met properly,” Metin Corabatir, deputy director of the Center for Immigration and Asylum Studies, shared his concerns .

“They are considered as people under a temporary protection regime, but the regime does not provide enough assistance and protection for those outside of the [refugee] camps,” he said.