Approximately 44,000 Syrian refugees have crossed into Syria so far ahead of the Islamic holiday of Ramadan Bayram, also known as Eid al-Fitr.
Wanting to spend the holiday in their homeland, Syrian refugees from all around Turkey come to the border crossings in the southern cities to go back to their hometowns. Especially the Cilvegözü border crossing in Hatay province and Öncüpınar border crossing in Kilis are the two points that enable the majority of the refugee movement into Syria.
So far, 29,000 refugees have crossed from Cilvegözü, while 15,000 crossed through Öncüpınar.
In order to cross the border, refugees first need to apply from www.suriyeizin.com and receive a document that allows their border crossing. The crossings are expected to end on May 31 and the returns are expected to start following the end of the holiday period.
The majority of the refugees were traveling to towns and cities liberated by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), backed by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), including the towns and cities of Azez, Mare, Soran, Aktarin, Afrin, Jarablus and al-Bab.
Nearly 39,000 Syrians returned to Syria last year for the Ramadan holiday, while a total of 76,000 Syrians applied online to the Turkish authorities to spend Eid in Syria.
Turkey cleared an area of 4,000 square kilometers from the two terrorist groups in operations in 2016 and in the following years by helping the FSA weed out terrorists from al-Bab, Jarablus and other towns in Operation Euphrates Shield and in Afrin with Operation Olive Branch. Crossings are strictly monitored, while a mobile clinic has been set up at Öncüpınar for vaccinating children between the ages of 0-15 accompanying their families to the Syrian side. It is reported that the crossings will continue until May 31.
Following the operations, Turkey continued its activities in the provinces by putting emphasis on reconstruction, infrastructure and the formation of local administrations. The end result has been rewarding for Turkey as Syrian refugees, who were displaced from the region, started to return to their liberated hometowns and restart their lives.
Thanks to the operations, more than 311,000 Syrian refugees have returned to their hometowns that were liberated from terrorist elements, the Interior Ministry said in February.