Istanbul Syriac Church sent messages to its members, calling them to help maintain proper records of refugees by turning in names and numbers of refugees they host in their homes.
The church should be alerted on all Syriacs who have escaped the war-torn Syria to take refuge in their relatives’ homes in Turkey, and names should be given to church officials to ensure better records.
President of the Meryem Ana Church Foundation in Istanbul, Sait Susin, said the practice aimed to achieve a better estimation of the number of refugees currently in Istanbul. “We will shape the campaign according to the numbers we gathered through this,” Susin said. Around 250 refugees are being hosted in Istanbul, Susin added. “They stay in Turkey for a short time before they move on to other countries,” Susin said. “They mostly ask us to help them about visas, and accommodation. We help them for accommodation with our limited resources, but we cannot do much about visas.” Around 25 refugees are staying in a Mardin monastery, according to Susin, with over 85 refugees being stuck at security posts in Turkish airports, wanting to get in.
15,000 Syriacs live in Turkey, with 10,000 of them residing in Istanbul. The remaining numbers live in eastern and southeastern provinces.