World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkish authorities have started to build a tent city to host 10,000 Syrian refugees -- some 4,000 of whom are Syriac -- in the Midyat district of Mardin province.
Midyat District Governor Oğuzhan Bingöl told the press on Friday that Midyat citizens should treat Syrian refugees as guests, adding: “We could have been under bombardment like them. We have to develop empathy.” He added that the tent city is expected to be ready to host refugees in about one-and-a-half months.
There are currently over 400,000 Syrians who have fled the two-year-old conflict in their country, which according to the UN has killed more than 70,000 people.
According to figures from the Prime Ministry's Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) released in late February, the total number of refugee camps in Turkey is 14: This includes five tent cities in Hatay province, three in Gaziantep, two in Şanlıurfa and one each in Kahramanmaraş, Osmaniye, Adana and Adıyaman. There are also three container cities in Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa and the southern province of Kilis.
The total number of Syrians who have entered Turkey since the start of the uprising is over 260,000, according to the AFAD statement.
No fine for Syrian refugees exceeding residence permits
Syrian refugees taking shelter in camps and residences in different parts of Turkey will not be fined if they overstay their visa and residence permit, according to a new regulation by the Interior Ministry.
Before the regulation, refugees who overstayed their visa or residence permit were banned from re-entering Turkey. Now, the Syrians will not face bans and fines for this.
Turkey softened its relevant laws to ease the Syrians' ability seek refuge in the country. Today, provinces such as Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa and Mardin are host to many Syrians who have come to Turkey with their passports and a temporary visa. Turkey also extended the visas of Syrians first from 90 days to five months and then to a year.
Furthermore, Syrians are also allowed to use their cars in Turkey even though they do not have the relevant official papers.
Ankara has also appointed a coordinator governor to handle the Syrian refugee issue. The coordinator governor for refugees in Turkey is responsible for all organizing aspects of life that concern Syrians in Turkey, including public services like health and education.Last Mod: 27 Nisan 2013, 11:53