Syrians living outdoors cause distress in western Turkey

Syrians living outdoors cause distress in western Turkey

İZMİR - Doğan News Agency
Syrians living outdoors cause distress in western Turkey

DHA photo

Syrians fleeing their war-torn country and carrying their possessions with them in black garbage bags have swarmed parks and streets in Turkey’s Aegean province of İzmir, as they have nowhere else to go while waiting to cross into European countries.

İzmir’s Basmane neighborhood has become the first destination for Syrians who fled their homes in Syria, with a large number of migrants spending their nights outside in parks and streets. 

Fatima Ahmad, 38, a Syrian-Turkmen woman who had been a pharmacist back in Syria, said she had to come to Turkey with her four children and they had been forced to live outdoors.

“I had been a pharmacist and had a fair income in Syria. But the war ruined everything. We had to shelter ourselves in Turkey. Authorities help us out, but we want to earn our living by working,” she said.

Fatima’s elder brother, Marwan Ahmad, 42, said he had been a public employee for two decades in Syria before the civil war broke out.

“I had to move here because of the war, but some Turks break our hearts. We want to make our own money working, but either we are unpaid or paid less. How could we afford our life?” he said.

Another Syrian migrant, Haydar Ali Semi, said they had been provided help, but that would not be a permanent solution.

İzmir Governor Mustafa Toprak said Syrians could be bussed somewhere out of the city, but that would not be a permanent solution since they would come back and continue to live outdoors, a situation he described as “inconvenient.”

“The living spaces of Syrians in İzmir are bothering for all of us. Temporary identity cards have been issued for some 67,050 Syrians thus far,” Toprak said on July 28, adding large numbers of Syrian migrants coming in to İzmir was an issue, as the city was not a refugee camp of tents, but rather a place for temporary shelter.