Almost two million Syrians have taken refuge in neighboring Turkey. Many of them have been separated from their families.
Even as he was fighting the crowds to buy sweets for Eid, Omer Omer was thinking about home.
“I’m not very comfortable here, away from my parents. They live in a village in Syria. I’m here, they are over there,” he said.
He is one hundreds of thousands of Syrians spending their Eid in Istanbul. Many of them have divided families. Some with relatives still in Syria, others with friends and families who have moved on to countries in Europe. Many miss home, and a time when they were together.
“I have some friends and family, we celebrate Eid here, but it’s not a happy Eid. We are not home. We are in a foreign country,” said Mohammad Amin, a Syrian refugee.
The war in Syria has displaced millions of people. At least two million of them have found refuge in Turkey.
Many, even those heading to Europe, wish they could go home. Festivals like Eid, traditionally celebrated with family, increase this craving.
For many Syrians living in Istanbul an ideal Eid would be one they can spend at home with their whole family. But until the war stops in Syria, the chances of that happening are very low.