Businessman struggling as paper collector on Istanbul’s streets after fleeing Syria
ISTANBUL – Anadolu AgencyA Syrian businessman who speaks five languages is now collecting paper in the streets of Istanbul after fleeing his war-torn home country.
Having fled the war four years ago, Nadir İbrahim, 44, now gets by collecting paper for recycling, earning up to 100 Turkish Liras a day.
“I have a wife and two children aged eight and five. I brought my family here after fleeing the war,” İbrahim told the state-run Anadolu Agency.
He said he was defrauded out of most of his money after arriving in Turkey.
“My wife and children went to Lebanon after I lost my money here. We came here at the end of 2012 because there was too much bombing. When I first came here, I rented a house similar to a hotel. But then I was defrauded and lost all my money,” İbrahim added.
After arriving in Turkey with a lot of cash, he said he met several people who claimed that they wanted to do business with him.
“When I first arrived, a friend of mine introduced me to a Turkish friend and we set up a partnership with him. We went to a hotel in Edirne to set up a business. He left me there, took all my money and ran away. We don’t know where he went,” said İbrahim, adding that he sought jobs in several provinces across Turkey but was unable to find one.
“I’m alone and broke and I had to work, so I came here to Istanbul. Now I’m collecting paper on the streets,” he said, adding that local shopkeepers gave him a cart to collect paper after hearing his story.
“I had two businesses before the war, but now that’s all gone. I’m still trying to access the money that I left there,” İbrahim said.
A speaker of French, English, Italian and Turkish as well as his native Arabic, İbrahim keeps himself going with dreams of setting up a business in Istanbul after moving his assets from Syria.
“I miss my wife, family and children very much. I hope the war in Syria will end and the people can return,” he added.