Following the massive earthquake which has destroyed much of the infrastructure in southern Turkey and northern Syria, there has been a large flux of Syrian refugees leaving Turkey for northern Syria. While some have taken advantage of temporary travel visas to visit grieving family in Syria, also suffering in the aftermath of the quake many have left due to a lack of aid and shelters in hard hit southern Turkey.
Thursday around 1,800 Syrians entered northern Syria through Bab al-Hawa crossing, one returnee told the press that many had chosen to return due to the lack of homes and rising rents prices, lack of shelters and rising tensions among racism in the aftermath of the disaster, some complained of harassment and unfair treatment in Turkish emergency shelter centers.
The Syrian Salvation Government (SSG) Minister of Development and Humanitarian Affairs said, “We continue to receive our people coming from Turkey who do not have homes and relatives, and we are working to transfer them to the shelter centers established by the Ministry, and we will provide them with basic assistance, in-kind materials, and winter supplies, in addition to food aid.”
Sadly, Syrian refugees are not the only ones returning from Turkey following the quake as the remains of deceased Syrians killed in the quake continue to come through Bab al-Hawa from Turkey, SSG Minister of Health, Dr. Hussein Bazar, said: “The number of Syrian victims who entered the liberated north of Syria through the Bab al-Hawa crossing from Turkey has reached 1,522 victims so far, and the bodies of the victims are still arriving and the numbers are constantly rising.”