Syrian ‘refugees’ in Turkey headed home to celebrate Muslim holiday, by Ann Corcoran 6/20/17
….and some plan to stay in Syria! So, good news on World Refugee Day, right! Syrians want to go home, so why is the UN distributing them around the world?
From Reuters (hat tip: Diane): Carrying suitcases, shopping bags and toddlers, thousands of refugees walked back home into Syria from Turkey on Thursday ahead of the Eid festival that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Turkey has taken in some 3 million Syrian migrants since the start of civil war in 2011, making it home to the world’s largest refugee population.
Now Ankara is giving Syrian refugees the right to return to Turkey within a month if they want to go home to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
Some said they wanted to start again in their homeland, and would return within the month if it did not work out, while others said they wanted to return to Syria for good, citing the difficulty of finding employment in Turkey.
Authorities did not give any figures on how many Syrians have returned so far. A Reuters witness said at least 3,000 people crossed on foot through the dusty Cilvegozu border crossing into Syria during several hours on Thursday.
The offer to return applies to Syrian nationals with valid travel documents who cross through the Cilvegozu and Oncupinar border gates, authorities said. The Eid al-Fitr holiday begins on June 25. Those who wish to return can do so until July 14.
Anyone who comes back after that will be treated as new arrival and subject to the regular immigration process, a local official at the Hatay governor’s office said.
Authorities say thousands of Syrians have since returned to Syrian towns freed from Islamic State. So that must mean it wasn’t Bashar al-Assad’s government they were running from in the first place! More here.
You should know that the majority of the refugees being processed in to the US right now, by the Trump State Department, are coming in through Turkey.