Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Turkey’s Refugee Camps at the Dawn of Summer

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Turkey’s Refugee Camps at the Dawn of Summer

Article excerpt

IN LATE JUNE, I visited some of the 23 camps that Turkey operates to provide shelter to almost 250,000 refugees, mostly Syrians fleeing the brutal war next door.

The Syrian conflict is one of the biggest tragedies of our time. Since the beginning of the fighting in March 2011, approximately half of the country's population (estimated at 22 million) has been forced to flee their homes. More than 5 million live as refugees in neighboring countries, and another 6.3 million are displaced within Syria.

Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, at 2.9 million (a figure that Ankara puts at 3.5 million), making it second only to the U.S. in contributions of humanitarian relief. Yet fewer than 10 percent of the refugees it hosts can be housed in camps. …

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