YAYLADAGI: Still no journalists are allowed entrance to the Syrian refugee camps in Yayladagi, Hatay. Most of news junkies try to sneak in through the damaged fences surrounding the camp. No authorities are willing to give information.
But I managed to get a phone number of a Syrian refugee residing in the camp. She asked to remain anonymous for security reasons, thus we called her on my article at Radikal (Turkish) as Esma.
“So why the journalists are not coming to the camp?” she’s asking with no idea how hard we are trying to get in. Esma is from Jisr al Shugour, one of the hot spots of Syrian security forces’ random use of violence.
“Where are you, what’s going on outside, why don’t you come to listen our stories? We NEED you!”
Unable to respond her, I just keep asking how the situation is inside the camp. She says the only problem for time being is ‘the rising population.’ The lack of necessary number of tents to accommodate all the refugees will apparently urge the Turkish Red Crescent to open new camps.
There are some technical problems as well. No television for Syrians who are literally searching for all means to get any news from their homeland and ‘desperately hoping to see the fall of Bashar Assad’ she says.
Esma calls Turkish authorities to ‘protect the soldiers who fled the army because they refused to shot the civilians.’ Apparently there are some of run away soldiers residing in the camp as she tells.
“They [dissident Syrian soldiers] are here with us, cause they opposed the regime. They would be safe here right, can you promise that to me?”
This question leaves me again with no response to give.
Esma says that the Syrian security forces have been knocking on their door almost every day since last one month, threatening her husband for his anti-regime activities. The decision of fleeing to Turkey for Esma and her family has come the day when the forces tried to kidnap their 8 years old son to interrogate.
“They came to our house at 3 am. We couldn’t even stop them. They wanted to detain my 8 years old son. I cried, I begged to stop them, then finally I could convince them and they left without my kid.”
On her 4th day at the Yayladagi camp, Esma is already counting down for the day she will turn back home as she calls, “Home with no Assad.”