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Syrian Turkmen refugees face double suffering in Lebanon

(Translation by Yusra Ahmed)

Syrian Turkmen refugees in Lebanon accuse Turkey of ignoring their suffering, there are almost 5,000 families of them in Lebanon.

Ibrahim, a-13-year old boy from the village of "Zara" in the countryside of Homs, looks for empty cans, worn-out shoes and plastic parts to sell them in order to get his food under different and hard weather conditions.

Ibrahim is one of thousands of Syrian Turkmen children, and thousands of Syrians who fled Syria with their families from war to Lebanon seeking safety, but they were shocked with the reality where they were faced with ostracism and humiliation and found difficulties in their daily lives. Besides ignoring them by Turkey, as they consider themselves part of it, ethnically at least.

There are about 5,000 Turkmen families in Lebanon, making between 125,000 and 150,000 people fled from all regions of Syria, Homs, Hama, Tartous, Aleppo, Damascus and Idlib and other areas, they suffer discrimination compared to the Turkmen of Lebanon who count less than 15 thousand by the Turkish Embassy in Lebanon, according to activist Mohammed Kassab from the Union of media professionals of Turkmen in Syria.

Kassab pointed out to Zaman Al Wasl that Turkmen hoped that Turkish Embassy in Lebanon would look after them when they seek asylum in Lebanon, and they repeatedly tried to communicate with the embassy but their effort went in vain.
Moreover, he mentioned that several meetings between activists and well known figures from Syria’s Turkmen and delegations and representatives of the Turkish government and other bodies, but all these meetings were fruitless and nothing has changed.

Kassab provided Zaman Al Wasl with statistics which point to the suffering of Syria’s Turkmen in Lebanon and the reality of marginalization they have lived for years. There are 500 widows of Turkmen martyrs, and the same numbers of other widows. There are about 20,000 orphans as well.

People with chronic diseases, deformation, amputations and wounded count about 500 one. Moreover, about 5000 Turkmen child was forced to leave school to beg or work to help their families. However, The biggest suffering according to the activist is lack of job opportunity, which forced more than 2000 families to live in stables or farms or tents with no basic living facilities.

Renewal official documents by the general security division in Lebanon is another suffering according to the activists, beside lowering the value of food voucher to $13 per person.

The number of Syrian refugees registered with the Unite Nations High Commission for Refugees “UNHCR” in Lebanon 663 thousand, while the Lebanese authorities confirm that the total number of Syrians exceeded 1.1 million refugees, part of them get aid from the United Nations.

Zaman Al Wasl
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