Number 269 | June 15, 2015
TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy visited refugee camps in Viransehir and Midyat, Turkey on June 1 and 2, 2015. Currently, Turkey is confronting the challenges of one of the worst man-made humanitarian crises facing the world. Turkey has taken in over 1.7 million refugees fleeing violence in Syria and the surrounding region. Of these refugees, over 200,000 live in one of 25 temporary protection camps, while 1.5 million live in Turkish towns and cities.
On June 1, McCurdy visited the Prime Ministry Disaster & Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) Viransehir refugee camp. During his visit, McCurdy met with Viransehir camp director Zeki Kaya and staff and toured the facilities. The camp, which opened in August 2013, is built on Turkish government land located near the Ceylanpinar border crossing with Syria. It reached capacity in 2014 and currently houses 17,750 Syrian refugees. With monthly expenditures exceeding $2.5 million, the camp provides various services, including electricity, running water, schools, language lessons, community centers, computer facilities, sewing and weaving centers, grocery stores, and hospitals.
On June 2, McCurdy visited the AFAD Midyat refugee camp, which opened in 2013 and provides similar services to those of the Viransehir camp. While in Midyat, McCurdy toured the camp and surrounding area and met with camp director Orhan Sasmaz. Originally constructed for Assyrian Christian refugees from Iraq, the camp currently houses over 5,000 Syrian refugees and Iraqi Yazidis.
McCurdy stated, “From my observations at both camps, I was impressed with the Turkish government’s extraordinary efforts in providing daily services to all refugees, especially continuing educational opportunities for the children in their native language.”
To date, the Turkish government has spent nearly $6 billion on Syrian refugees in Turkey, and Turkish resources are increasingly strained. Without a long-term international resolution to the Syrian conflict, thousands more refugees may arrive at the Turkish border.
For more photos and information from TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy’s visits to the camps in Southeastern Turkey, please click here.
|TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy with Viransehir camp directors.||Children at the camp in Midyat.|