Turkey, Middle East

Turkish foundation eases hardships of war-weary Syrian

Turkiye Diyanet Foundation has helped 130,000 Syrians since beginning of year

Turkish foundation eases hardships of war-weary Syrian


Burak Karacaoglu and Esref Musa

IDLIB, Syria

Turkiye Diyanet Foundation (TDF), an aid organization under the country's religious authority, has provided 26,000 families in Syria with stoves, firewood, blankets, beds and other daily-use items since beginning of the year.

"From the beginning of 2019 until now, we have provided assistance to approximately 26,000 families in the regions of Idlib and Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations.

"This figure corresponds to about 130,000 people," said Ismail Yigit, the field coordinator of the organization.  

Since 2016, Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region -- including Al-Bab, Afrin, and Azaz -- from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for Syrians who fled violence there to return home. 

In the camps in Azez district of Aleppo where civilians who were forcibly displaced take refuge, every day, 15,000 people eat hot food and 120,000 loaves of bread, the aid group said.

The foundation also renovated 160 mosques that were damaged during the conflict and opened them for worship last year. The maintenance, repair and furnishing of 268 mosques was also completed.

Yigit said that winter season in the region is harsh and floods have rendered the belongings of many families unusable.

He added that the foundation had distributed clothes, hygiene items and diapers to families in the region.

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

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed or displaced in the conflict, mainly by regime airstrikes targeting opposition-held areas.

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