Economic effect of Syrian refugees in Turkey
They say they used to smuggle radios from Syria to Turkey. Now, they smuggle archeological artifacts.
Journalist Arif Arslan?s new book ?Yüz Yüze Batman? (Batman, Face to Face) tells the stories of how people smuggled goods from across the Syrian border back in the 1960s. Arslan writes that locals smuggled goods from Syria because they had no other job opportunities.
An interesting recent program on the TV station France24 focused on Syrians who have been left jobless because of the war and who have resorted to digging up archeological artifacts to sell for a living.
Having once been a state in the Roman Empire, Syria is an archeological heaven. Today, all archeological findings, predominantly made up of gold and silver coins, are smuggled across the border to Turkey. From Turkey, they are marketed to collectors in the West.
Syrians who have lost everything because of the civil war explained on the program how they have been dislocated from their homes. They still have to earn a living. Many face the choice of either smuggling from their own country or becoming beggars in Turkey.
Out of the 3.9 million dislocated Syrians, almost 2 million - almost half are now in Turkey. In several neighborhoods of Istanbul, especially along major highways, little barefoot Syrian beggars have become part of our daily lives.
This is a reality. Unfortunately, the drama of Syrian refugees and how they struggle to survive in Turkey is not discussed adequately.
The main opposition Republican People?s Party (CHP) issued a report on Syrian refugees at the end of April, covering mostly the economic dimension of the crisis. It also referred to the social dimension. For instance, it said that out of 500,000 school-aged Syrian...