Turkey, Middle East

Turkish charity opens school in Syria’s Idlib

Turkish religious agency provides education to 500 children living in refugee camps

Burak Karacaoglu, Esref Musa   | 11.12.2019
 Turkish charity opens school in Syria’s Idlib

IDLIB, Syria 

A charity group linked to Turkey’s top religious authority on Wednesday opened a school for refugees in Idlib, northwestern Syria. 

The Abdul Hamid II primary school, set to provide education to 500 children living in refugee camps, was built by the Turkiye Diyanet Foundation -- linked to Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, or Diyanet -- and the Baitussalam Welfare Trust, a Pakistani-based aid agency.

Ihsan Acik, a top official from the Turkish charity, told Anadolu Agency that they hope to provide education to children from preschool to high school in the village of Kah, in Idlib.

Speaking at the school's opening ceremony, Acik said that they are planning to build 100 houses for families to make them live in better conditions.

Acik stressed that the agency provides aid especially for children, disabled people and little girls as well as engages in cultural activities.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected severity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.

In 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited. Since then, more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone.

Notably, about a million people have been forced to leave conflict-prone areas of the city and started taking shelter in safer areas in the northern part of the city that borders Turkey.

The Turkish government has followed an "open door" policy for Syrians since the eruption of the bloody war.

Over 3.6 million Syrians taking shelter in Turkey are now looking forward to returning home.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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