New tent site opened for Syrian refugees as numbers exceed 8,400



Five tent cities have been set up for the Syrian refugees; two in Yaylada??, two in Alt?nözü and one near the border in Reyhanl?.
Turkish authorities have opened a new camp site in the Yaylada?? district of Hatay near the border with Syria, as the number of Syrians fleeing a government crackdown on anti-government protesters has now exceeded 8,400.
In the first information session by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Wednesday in Yaylada??, where two of the camp sites are located, officials said the number of camp sites has been increased to five, and added that daily regular press briefings on the refugee situation will now be given. Foreign Ministry official Ertu?rul Afakan said there are currently five tent cities set up by the Turkish Red Crescent Society, two in Yaylada??, two in Alt?nözü and one in Reyhanl?.
The tent city in Reyhanl? is currently a pilgrimage facility where people travelling to Saudi Arabia were accommodated during their pilgrimage journeys, but will soon become a refugee camp for Syrians.

The latest official number of Syrian refugees staying at those sites is 8,421 of whom 1,921 are men, 2,132 are women, 2,181 are boys and 2,187 are girls.

There are 73 people receiving treatment in hospital, of whom 60 have minor or major injuries and are being accompanied by 13 of their own people. Medical services are also being provided onsite at the camps by medical teams.

The refugees are receiving three meals per day and the nutrition values of the meals are being monitored by a dietician. Milk, diapers and all sort needs for young children are also being provided. The camps have shower facilities and washing machines provided. Psychological and social support is also being provided by specialists. Sewing classes are on offer for women and art and Arabic classes are being provided for children. The camps also have designated places for worship.

For security, close circuit camera systems are operating at all the sites and gendarmerie and police are present around the clock.

Refugees have divided their camp sites into districts and established an administrative system in order to better communicate with Turkish officials. They are also alert for any Syrian government agents who might be among them.

“I can’t say anything against the Syrian regime, not even among my best friends,” said Muhammed, a Syrian refugee at Yaylada??. He is not the only one who is concerned about government agents. Most refugees at the camp refrain from disclosing their names to reporters when it comes to speaking about the Syrian government.

Refugees have been calling their relatives in Syria to get the latest information about what’s happening but they are not satisfied as they think their relatives might be painting a better picture regarding what is actually happening in Syria.

On Wednesday, a group of about 60 children held a demonstration at the Yaylada?? camp site chanting, “We want the regime change,” and “Long live Erdo?an,” in reference to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an.

One camp resident said that they want to return to Syria but it is now impossible for them as long as the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is there. Syria’s government is calling for the return of thousands of refugees who fled to Turkey to escape violence in a northern town. But Syrian refugees say that they don’t believe that they will be safe in Syria any longer.

Huda, another refugee, said that they used to hold a silent protest each Friday in Syria, and their last demonstration was called “Freedom Friday.” Even though they were peaceful, some of their friends were killed by police. Soldiers came to Huda’s home to arrest her husband but her husband had already gone into hiding. She said that the soldiers threatened to kill her children. Shortly after this she decided to escape to Turkey.

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