Along with some 18 million public school students around Turkey, Syrian and former-Ukrainian students going to Turkish schools received their report cards on Friday and began their two-week winter break.
Around 57,000 Syrian students in the southeastern Turkish province of Şanlıurfa were eager to see their grades and go on semester break.
Sidra İbrahim, a fourth-grade student, said she was happy with her grades. Third-grader Nour Al-Isa, who has been in Şanlıurfa since 2015, said she is excited to start her two-week vacation.
Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.
Turkey hosts some 3 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. The country has spent around $25 billion helping and sheltering the refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war. This includes over 1 million underage refugees, making Turkey the top child refugee-hosting country in the world.
Meanwhile, a total of 345 Meskhetian Turkish students also received their first-semester grades in Turkey's eastern Erzincan province. At least 1,500 Meskhetian Turks have settled in Erzincan from eastern Ukraine, near Russia's border, since December 2015. Since the government began accepting them as asylum-seekers in April 2014, at least 3,000 have made their homes in Turkey.
In the wake of Russia's illegal March 2014 annexation of the Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, more than 9,000 people have lost their lives due to the conflict between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels, according to the U.N.
The academic year started Sept. 16, and the second semester is set to begin on Feb. 10. Turkey's academic year will end on June 13.
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