Syrians living in camps seeking return home

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Displaced Syrians who live in tent camps near the Turkish border are hoping to return homes once Türkiye goes ahead with the planned military operation to clear the Tal Rifaat and Manbij regions of terrorists.

When the terrorist organization YPG/PKK entered Tal Rifaat in 2016, 60,000 locals and another 100,000 people, who came here from other regions, had to flee. Some of those 160,000 displaced people either started to live in the camps in the secure areas Turkish forces created or crossed into Türkiye.

Now, thousands of displaced Syrians live under very difficult conditions in Syria’s Azez, near the Turkish border, but are hopeful that the Turkish military’s planned operations in Tal Rifaat and Manbij will pave the way for them to return their hometowns.

“Our only hope is Türkiye,” said Esma Ahmet, who lives with her family in a tent.

“Three of my children were born in a tent under very difficult conditions. God willing, all those regions are cleared of terrorists and I can finally go back to my home with my children,” she said.

Salah Hayani, another Syrian living in the camp, lost his son in an attack in Tal Rifaat. “We had to leave our home and our land behind. Our house was destroyed in the attack. I have no idea what happened to my farmland, garden and house. But I will want to return,” he said, noting that they have been living in a tent for the past six years.

More than 40,000 orphaned children from Tal Rifaat also live in the tent camp.

“I had 180 students. Then came the attacks by the YPG/PKK and the Syrian regime. I had to flee with my family,” said Mehmet Kalender, a teacher from Tal Rifaat, who is now in charge of the education of 40 children in the camp.

“Türkiye, Turkish non-governmental organizations meet the needs of those children. I hope that Tel Rifaat is cleaned of terrorists as soon as possible and we will be able to return our homes.”

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