Turkey, World

Syrian family tries to endure harsh winter of Turkey

Khalid and Newruz Aamir struggle to live in single-room house in minus 15-degree weather with 6 children

Syrian family tries to endure harsh winter of Turkey

By Melike Kinacı

KONYA, Turkey

A single-room house, six children including a baby and no money to make a living -- this is how a Syrian family has been trying to manage survival in minus 15 degrees in central Turkey.

Khalid Aamir and his wife Newruz Aamir came to Turkey last year fleeing Syria's war-torn Eastern Ghouta district, a suburb of Damascus.

The youngest member of the family, Ahmed, was born only a week after they came to the Konya province. Newruz survived a formidable travel from Eastern Ghouta to Turkey while she was pregnant -- Her baby is now one year old.

When they first came to Konya, the family of eight rented a single-room house. Their neighbors provided them with some furniture.

Khalid is a construction worker; however, he is unable to find a job in the winter. The family is therefore entirely dependent on the aid coming from the neighbors.

"We have just one stove, nothing else. No coal to use and no job to buy coal. The weather is really cold. I have six children and we don't have any coal," Khalid said.

"I am working as a construction worker and it's not possible to find a job in winter. I can only find a job when spring comes."

Despite all these difficulties, Khalid said they are happy as they are in a safe country.

He said: "Turkey is a very beautiful country -- safe and peaceful. Syria is not like this. I hope we will be able to return our country when the war ends in Syria.

Turkey hosts more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world.

The country has spent more than $32 billion from its own national resources for helping and sheltering Syrians since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

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 ferocity.

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