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Idlib displaced seek settlement in Turkish-held areas

Features | 2020-03-18 18:24:00
Idlib displaced seek settlement in Turkish-held areas
(EQTSAD)- Dozens of men standing in a disciplined line in front of the civil registration department in the border city of Azaz in the northern countryside of Aleppo, to obtain ID cards. 

Everyone came from the eastern region of Idlib province as the regime forces captured most of their areas. They say they are part of a very large number who entered the Turkish-held areas so-called the Euphrates Shield and the Olive Branch.

“We came here as the regime advanced and the city was subjected to horrific bombing ... I currently live in a camp located in the eastern neighbourhood ... life here is better and safety prevails in the area,” said Abu al-Ezz, who is from Al-Atareb in the southern countryside of Aleppo, while holding the necessary documents to obtain an ID granted by the local council in Azaz.

  More than a million people in Idlib fled towards the Turkish border during the recent Syrian regime assault backed by Russia and Iran.

Turkey currently hosts more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees. 

-Accommodation at $ 1200-

The Syrian Response Coordination group recored 183 thousand people who settled in the olive branch area that includes the city of Afrin and its countryside, and 151 thousand people who were distributed in the city of Azaz and the shield of the Euphrates area, which includes Al-Bab, Jarablus,  Al-Rai and other cities and towns of the region out of a total of one million IDPs who fled the active fighting between November and the ceasefire on 5 March.

Expatriates assert that they are suffering from  a massive increase in accommodation rents in these areas, while many of them said that they obtained free good houses.

Thousands also live in camps under the supervision of humanitarian organizations, but it is temporary until knowing Idlib's future in light of the current military Spring Shield operation launched by the Turkish troops.

Abu Fadi, a displaced person who was staying in Binche, was able to obtain a free house in the city of Al-Bab after contacting one of his friends in the area.

Abu Fadi told Eqtsad via WhatsApp that “The people here are good and very welcoming. Al Bab is a big city and everything is available here,” . 

On the other side, Abu Abdo just found a house after a great difficulty 

Abu Abdo, originally from Idlib, who fled from his hometown Ariha, which is on an international road that the regime seeks with Russian support to reach. He confirmed to Eqtsad that he preferred to search for a house in the city of Azaz, as it is closer to Idlib Governorate than the rest of the Euphrates Shield.

After a long search, he managed to rent a good house for $ 150 per month, on condition that he pre-paid for six months.

Abu Abdo comments with some satisfaction, “I loved this city .. Life here is normal, electricity is passed from Turkey, commercial traffic is excellent, but rents are very expensive.”

-Military follies-

Some prefer staying in Afrin and its suburbs, as it is easier to find a cheap house. 

There is a big difference in the administration of the region from the city of Azaz and the shield of the Euphrates, which is free from military presence, unlike Afrin, which was divided on a military basis and includes an intense presence of the factions of the national army that do not end its follies in the region,  according to the residents.

Marwan, a displaced person from Damascus, said that he found a house in Jindires in the countryside of Afrin without having to pay any money. But he complained about the factions ’interference in the homes issue, as “any displaced person is subject to expulsion from the house in which he resides, in case the factions intervene, ” Marwan confirms.

The Turkish government has opened many colleges affiliated to the University of Gaziantep in the region. There are the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences in Al-Bab City, the College of Islamic Sciences in Azaz and the College of Education in Afrin.

Thus created an opportunity for dozens of international students who registered in the “YÖS” university entrance exams to study in Turkish universities.

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