Photo: A transit camp near the Turkish border. Syria 2013 © Anna Surinyach/MSF
10,000 Syrians Seek Shelter Near Turkish Border
Several months ago, Hussein Alwawi was living in Aleppo with his family. But, he recalls, “A warplane attacked our neighborhood and lots of houses were destroyed, including ours. We were not at home at the time, but two families were killed.”
Five days later, he and his family set out towards Syria’s border with Turkey. They found an ad hoc settlement that now hosts some 10,000 displaced Syrians, more than double the number who’d been there at the beginning of the year. While it is officially known as a “transit camp,” it would be more accurate to call it a camp for internally displaced people, or IDPs.
Driven from their homes by the war, most of these IDPs now live in tents set up in a field formerly occupied by a customs office, though Alwawi and his family found sanctuary inside a mosque. In a quest to create some sense of normalcy, people have set up barbershops and foodstalls, even a school for the children.