Over 50 Syrians in Istanbul’s Esenyurt repatriate
ISTANBUL - Demirören News Agency
A total of 54 Syrians, who fled from their worn-torn country and settled in Türkiye’s major metropolitan city of Istanbul’s Esenyurt district, have returned to safe areas in their homeland, the district’s mayor has announced.
Noting that 28 of the Syrians who returned to the safe areas created in their country are adults and 26 are children, Esenyurt Mayor Kemal Deniz Bozkurt said that they set out for their hometowns of Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib and Afrin.
Reiterating the repatriation of over 3,000 Syrians back to their homes to date, Bozkurt added, “We allocate a bus for our guests who cannot adapt to life here to return to their hometowns.”
It was the second convoy to go to Syria from Esenyurt.
The repatriation process was going very fast, but the pandemic lessened this pace a bit, according to Bozkurt.
“If the conditions do not change, our work on this issue will continue to get stronger day by day,” the mayor said.
Bozkurt also pointed out that some 217,000 foreign nationals live in Esenyurt, according to research made by the United Nations in 2019, though the municipality’s figures, including the unregistered migrants, approaches around 300,000.
“Illegal migrants are sent back to removal centers as we focus on solving the problems created by irregular migration in Esenyurt,” the mayor added.
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.
In recent months, Türkiye has started providing transport, accommodation and food support to Syrian families that wish to return to Syria.
While half a million Syrians applied to relocate to those areas, some Syrians inside their own country also moved there. Thus, the population in those three areas increased from 1.3 million to more than 2 million.