Middle East News

Syrians in Turkiye continue to return voluntarily to their country

Syrians staying in Turkiye under temporary protection are being repatriated, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Following Turkiye’s anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria, the establishment of safe areas and sustainable public services, especially education and health, has made it possible for Syrians to return.

Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018) and Peace Spring (2019).

Since Operation Euphrates Shield, nearly 500,000 Syrians have returned to their country.

Anadolu Agency’s team on the ground has shot videos of the return of Syrians through Turkiye’s southern borders.

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Meanwhile, various projects continue in the region to enable the return of 1 million Syrians.

‘Happy to be back’

Syrians, living in various parts of Turkiye, arrived at the voluntary return centre at the Kilis Oncupinar, Sanliurfa Akcakale, and Gaziantep Karkamis custom gates, and filled out the voluntary return request form.

After that, they crossed to Syria via buses, and were greeted by their relatives.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, a Syrian teacher, Mohammed Al Abdullah, said he will continue to teach children in Syria.

READ: Turkey won’t expel Syrian refugees, vows Erdogan

Abdurrezzak Daga, who is also among people who have returned to Syria, expressed his happiness to be back in his country.

“I left my country about two and a half years ago due to the war. Now we live in Tal Abyad … I thank Turkiye, may Allah be pleased with everyone there,” he added.

Syria has been embroiled in a civil war since early 2011 when the Bashar Al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected brutality.

According to the official numbers of the UN, over 350,000 people have lost their lives to the conflict, but human rights groups estimate the death toll to be between 500,000-600,000.

Over 14 million had to flee their homes, becoming refugees or internally displaced, according to the EU.

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