„We hope to be able to get a place in the camp soon! Life is better there…and winter is coming!“ -Karamanmaraş

Karamanmaraş – this city has always come across my mind from the moment onwards I have dealt with the Syrian refugee crisis. Karamanmaraş is the city where one of the first and biggest refugee camps in Turkey was established. Even though this city is only a one hour drive away from Gaziantep I only managed it today to visit the area. I could not enter the camp, because – of course – there are many regulations due to security reasons, but I passed by and could wittness the life around it with my own eyes. Back home in Germany I basically only thought about Syrian refugees in the camps. Now, after more than 2 months working in the field I have experienced and seen that the vast majority of refugees live off-camp. Not even 1/4 of the registered refugees in Turkey live in one of the around 25 camps – most settle in citiies in the Turkish provinces close to the border, such as Gaziantep, Marin, and Urfa. The situation of off-camp/hence urban refugees is very desperate. Even though many host communities are helping and supporting them, many family do live in very bad conditions, in overpriced homes/rooms with very narroy access to food, work, education, health and psychological services. Even though the international media is reporting on daily basis about the developments in Iraq and Syria concering ISIS and arms delivery, I cannot help but wonder – where are the reports about the refugees, the internally displaced people, the people in need, the million of chidren with no access to education? People are forced to flee their homes in Syria every day, and the situation they have to face in the neighbouring countries are more than desperate! The expresseion of a newly arrived refugee family in Karamanmaraş stroke me a lot today „We hope to be able to get a place in the camp soon! Life is better there…and winter is coming!“ Yes, winter is coming and the number of refugees is constantly rising while at the same time even the UN is not even close to be able to cover the funds they need to provide basic humanitarian aid and assistance!

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