Turkey, Middle East

Turkey: Migrant children dance their hearts out

International Migrants Day is marked on Dec. 18 to raise awareness

Muhammed Nuri Erdogan   | 18.12.2019
Turkey: Migrant children dance their hearts out


Dozens of migrant children on Wednesday danced their hearts out in the capital Ankara.

They were attending an event held to mark International Migrants Day.

Hatice Yigit, the organizer of the event, said the mass refugee influx around the world was the result of a host of reasons such as ongoing wars, military escalations, poverty and natural disasters.

"Many of the [refugee] children danced for the first time, they live in harsh conditions,” Yigit said, adding the dance workshop was attended by Syrian, Iraqi and Kazakh children.

“We work to organize events that will increase the Turkish community’s empathy toward migrants and [positively] contribute to their assimilation,” she said.

She added that many of the refugees of Middle Eastern origins would not be able to return home in their lifetime, therefore both Turks and the refugees should acknowledge the culture of harmony.

Mesut Sonat, a dance instructor, said activities based on entertainment and art brought hope to the migrants who have been through a lot.

Bakr Dabaa, a 14-year-old Syrian, said the event made his day and he would continue to perform dances in the future.

According to the latest UN figures, the number of international migrants has climbed to 272 million, 51 million more compared to 2010, corresponding to some 3.5% of the global population.

Europe ranks as the first host continent with 82 million international migrants, followed by North America that hosts 59 million. Also, North Africa and West Asia host about 49 million migrants.

Turkey stands as the world’s top refugee-hosting country as it provides shelter to over four million people, over 3.6 million of whom are Syrians displaced following the eruption of bloody civil war in 2011.

* Writing by Ali Murat Alhas

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