Turkish NGO launches festival for Syrian children
A Turkish non-governmental organization on Sept. 16 launched a six-day festival for Syrian children in the areas liberated by Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield in northwestern Syria and Turkey’s southern Kilis province.
Around 500 children attended the first event of the "Borderless Festival" in a small village of Azaz, organized by the Istanbul-based International Refugee Rights Association (UMHD).
The children played games, watched theatre performances and made face paintings with the Turkish volunteers who came from different universities.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, project coordinator Eda Nur Aydın said the main goal of the project is "to bring happiness to war-affected children“.
During the festival, Aydın said, the children also received bags with school supplies to support their education.
"We want to contribute to the education of these children. The fact that they are war victims should not hamper their right to education," she added.
The event in Syria’s Azaz will continue until Sept. 19.
On Sept. 21, another event as part of the festival will be held at the Elbeyli refugee camp in Kilis.
Turkish volunteers will hold diverse activities and workshops, including street games, film screenings, dancing and face paintings.
The festival will run through Sept. 21 and aims to distribute school supplies to 5,000 children.
Since 2016, Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region -- including Al-Bab, Afrin, and Azaz -- from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for Syrians who fled the violence to return home.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, and in its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey it has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
The YPG is the group's Syrian branch.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.