News / Middle East

Undocumented Syrian Refugees Suffer Deprivation

Undocumented Syrian Refugees Suffer Deprivationi
X
March 22, 2013 4:58 PM
As many as 200,000 undocumented Syrian refugees are living outside the refugee camps in southern Turkey. Many don't have passports and Turkish authorities are trying to register and look after them. But the undocumented refugees say aid is still scarce and some are forced to live off the land. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Kilis, Turkey.
Patrick Wells

As many as 200,000 undocumented Syrian refugees are living outside the refugee camps in southern Turkey. Many don't have passports and Turkish authorities are trying to register and look after them. But the undocumented refugees say aid is still scarce and some are forced to live off the land.


Um’Steif Aysa al Fadil, a Syrian mother of eight, gathers khubays, a leafy green vegetable, on the scrap of land she now inhabits outside Kilis in southern Turkey.

 

This plant, which she will boil and feed to her children, is the only regular food her family has had since they fled government airstrikes in Syria a month ago.

 

Um’Steif’s family are among tens of thousands of undocumented Syrian refugees who have crossed into Turkey.

 

They spent their first 10 days here sleeping in a public park before finding this plot to rent. But their money has almost run out and her sons can’t find work.

 

"It’s winter time and we don’t know anybody here, that’s why we can’t find work," Um’Steif said.

 

She says she and her family miss home. "I wish we could just wake up tomorrow and go back to Syria, Syria is so beautiful," Um’Steif said.

 

Um’Steif’s son-in-law, Ahmed Naseef, arrived in Turkey a few days ago after his children narrowly escaped an air raid. He said without a house or a job he has no idea how he is going to look after them.


"We’re not getting much support, only a little. We don't have much of a chance here because we’re here illegally, without passports," Ahmed Naseef said.


The plight of these refugees does not seem to improve with time. Ahmed Mustafa, a tailor, fled Syria seven months ago. His family of 11 now live in two rooms above a stable but he says they could be evicted at any time. Ahmed’s children spent last winter without shoes and none of them has a school to attend.

 

"How do you think my life is now?! I have 8 children and I lost my entire house, It’s completely destroyed, there isn’t even a glass left there to drink water from," Mustafa said.

 

Turkey, with the support of the UNHCR, is opening 10 coordination centers to register undocumented Syrians and distribute aid. So far, it has processed 50,000 people but an additional 150,000 remain unregistered.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid