Another group of 150 Syrians returned home in northern Syria Tuesday to settle in areas secured from terrorist organizations by the Turkish military. A large number of Syrian refugees have headed back home since 2015. Since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, millions of Syrians had sought refuge in Turkey, where the government has provided them all kinds of assistance and rights to education, health and work.
Turkey has undertaken the responsibility to take in and care for refugees who are trying to survive, rebuild their lives and look to the future with hope.
The 150 refugees, including women and children, boarded their buses after completing the necessary processes at the Directorate of Migration the office. They crossed into Syria using the Öncüpınar Border Gate in southeastern Turkey's Kilis.
One of the refugees, Muhammed Haydar Bekkari, had left his war-torn hometown Afrin eight years ago and migrated to Turkey. He said he decided to return home as the region he was living in was now clear off terrorists. "I would like to express my gratitude to the Turkish people and especially the president," he said. Turkey hosts nearly 4 million Syrian refugees, who have been given temporary protection status. They live all around the country but the majority, nearly half a million, is in Istanbul.
Turkey hosts more refugees than any other country in the world and almost four times as many as the whole EU. These returns have been made possible by Operations Euphrates Shield, launched in the west of the Euphrates back in 2016, and Operation Olive Branch, launched in northwestern Afrin last year. Both these operations proved successful and achieved their goals of bringing peace to the region and eliminate the presence of Daesh and the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG). As part of the voluntary return program, around 335,000 Syrians have returned to their country since 2015. The program facilitates an orderly and humane return and reintegration of migrants who do not want to stay in host countries and wish to return home. Different assistance is also provided throughout the processes of pre-departure, return, transit and reintegration.