Tens of thousands of Syrians have returned to Syria from Turkey to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at home after years spent in Turkey amid the war in their homeland.
Some 110,000 Syrians crossed the border after waiting for hours amid blazing heat to return to their houses, daily Milliyet reported on June 25.
Tens of thousands of migrants, including many women and children, flocked to the Öncüpınar border gate in the southeastern province of Kilis after the city’s governor’s office announced that departures and arrivals to certain parts of Syria would be allowed between June 13 and 23 for Eid.
They arrived in front of the border gate in the early hours of the days from different parts of Turkey and waited for many hours to cross the border.
No mass passage through the border had been permitted for a year due to security concerns.
A number of Syrians who were waiting to cross to regions cleared in operations by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), including Azaz, Marea, Soran, Akhtarin and al-Rai, fainted from time to time due to the heat.
Ambulances waited around the area in order to intervene in the event of a medical emergency.
In addition, police took strict security measures around the border gate.
Many Syrians who had to take refuge in Turkey voiced their hopes that their country would become a land of peace.
“We were in a good situation before the war. With the war, we were devastated. My husband was killed. Now I live in Turkey with my daughter and we have no one else,” said Syrian Adniye Abyad, 46, adding that she needs to beg on the streets often to make a living.
“Sometimes I’m begging and other times I’m in the cleaning business. I don’t have many relatives left in Syria, but I want to see my country. We will experience a bittersweet Eid, but we will be in our country. Hopefully the war will end as soon as possible. We need peace,” she also said.
Another migrant who was waiting to return to Syria, Ali Davut, 45, said he missed his country a lot.
“I had a five-story school building in Qamishli. I was an English teacher. My course building was demolished in an air strike,” Davut said, adding that he now lived in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
“I teach private English lessons if I can find students. I miss my country a lot and want to spend the Eid there,” he added.
Moreover, Muhammed Suphi Ahmed, 37, who entered Turkey illegally four years ago with his family, said he had been a furniture maker in Azaz and was continuing his profession in the northwestern province of Bursa.
“I don’t think we will ever be able to return to our country,” Ahmed said, adding that he had been waiting in front of the border gate for four days.