Syrian children in Turkey look to future with hope
MALATYA / ŞANLIURFA
Thousands of Syrian children, who lost many of their relatives and took refuge in Turkey after fleeing the civil war, are hoping for a better future.
The war-weary children are staying at accommodation centers across the country with the support of the Turkish government.
All of them have different stories related to the civil war.
Many needs such as education, health, sports and rehabilitation are met at the accommodation centers.
Nilal Bakir, a high school student, is just one of 4,350 children staying at the Beydağı Accommodation Center in the eastern province of Malatya.
Just like many others, Bakir lost some of her relatives when her village in Syria was bombed.
“I was scared, but here, I’m not anymore. They gave us a book, pen, everything when we joined the school,” she told state-run Anadolu Agency.
Bakir dreams of becoming a nurse.
“I will help people. All the nurses in Syria came to Turkey. I will return to my country and take care of our children,” she said.
Bakir thanked everyone in Turkey who extended support to her family.
Safiye Yunus, 15, who is one of the 3,800 students studying at the Harran Temporary Accommodation Center in the southeastern district of Şanlıurfa, also holds similar views with Bakir.
Yunus witnessed her cousin get killed in Syria.
“I cried for days and could not get over the impact of the incident. My father and mother decided to come to Turkey due to my condition,” she said.
“After days of journey, we took refuge at a school near the Turkish border. We survived thanks to food and clothes sent from Turkey for 45 days,” she added.
Noting that they have been living in Harran for six years, Safiye said: “I am very happy in Turkey. I am studying under very good circumstances. In my spare time, I play the bağlama [a stringed musical instrument] and read books.”
Sulef Hasan, 15, another high school student, came to Turkey after his two cousins were killed in Aleppo.
“I couldn’t go to school because of the war in Syria. It made me sad. I continue my education uninterrupted in Turkey,” Hasan said.
“I want to become a doctor in Turkey and want to help people in my country,” he added.
Rena Kelesh, 14, said they could not sleep from fear because of the bombings in the war-torn country.
Ayet Darwish, another Syrian, said his uncle was arrested in Syria and he lost another uncle and some of his relatives as a result of the war.
“I and all my friends are very happy at school in Turkey. I would like to thank the Turkish authorities who provided us with these opportunities.”
Metin Yaman, the coordinator at Beydağı Accommodation Center, stated that 2,944 children out of 4,350 receive education and training at the camp.
“We also organize social and sport activities for children,” he added.