Ministry steps in to reunite Syrian woman with her son
Fatma Aksu - HATAY
Learning after a decade that her son was in Algeria, a Syrian woman living in the southern province of Hatay has brought her son back to Türkiye with a passport immediately issued by the Interior Ministry.
While Hansa Memmura fled to Türkiye amid the war in Syria, her husband, Muhannet Misri, was also planning to flee to the Lebanese capital Beirut. Meanwhile, he took their young son, 4-month-old Muhammed Zait, to Algeria and left them with relatives there.
Memmura, who could not find out where her child lived as Misri lost his life during a bombardment after returning to Syria to buy furniture for the house they rented in Hatay, started looking for Zait with her Turkish husband, whom she married in 2016.
After years of tracking, Memmura finally found the address where her child was living. Meeting with Zait after a decade in Algeria’s Mediterranean province of Mostaganem, she applied for a passport for her son and a visa to Türkiye in order to return together.
Returning to Hatay with her son, thanks to the Interior Ministry’s efforts to accelerate the visa process, Hansa said, “It was the happiest moment of the last 10 years of my life. I would like to express my gratitude to our President [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] and Interior Minister [Süleyman Soylu].”
Memmura was arrested in the province of Tartus’ Baniyas district in 2011 when she was a university student and was released after serving 45 days in prison. She was later asked to spy on behalf of the regime at the university, which she refused.
Thereupon, Misri asked her to leave the children to him and go to Türkiye. The day after Memmura fled, Syrian intelligence raided their home.
Hansa, who had been living with her older son for five years, met and married Mustafa Önal, who lived in the same neighborhood, in 2016. Önal and Memmura have two children.
Following the start of a bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Türkiye pursued an “open door” policy for war-battered Syrians, and it currently hosts over 3.7 million Syrians, more than any country.
The Turkish army and allied Syrian local forces have created three safe havens in northwestern Syria through military operations dubbed Euphrates Shield, Peace Spring and Olive Branch since August 2016.