Syria: Christian refugees to get their own camp in Turkey

Near Syriac monastery in Midyat province
(ANSAmed) – ANKARA, APRIL 10 – As the number of Syrian Christians fleeing the war across the border continues to rise, Turkish authorities have agreed to establish a separate camp for them. It will be located in the Midyat province not far from the Mor Abraham Syriac monastery, say Turkish media.

The new camp will have a holding capacity of 4,000 people, reports Zaman online, while another camp for Kurds and Arabs will be set up in different area of the same province. Turkey currently hosts approximately 190,000 Syrian refugees, mostly Sunni Muslims from the Aleppo and Idlib regions.

Sources from the Syrian Christian community say the increase in Christian refugees is largely due to advances made by Sunni fundamentalist groups in northern Syria. The FIDES agency reports that over the past three days more than 500 Syrian Christians have crossed the border into Turkey, fleeing violence and discrimination. Sources from the Assyrian Church of the East say that the refugees are mostly in the Gaziantep province, 50 kilometers from the border in south-eastern Anatolia. The churches and the monasteries in Turkey’s mountainous region Tur Abdin, the historic cradle of Syriac Christianity, already host more refugees than they can handle. The Syriac Christian communities of northern Syria, reports FIDES, have been hit especially hard by violence, hostage taking and dispossession. Entire family clans have been forced to leave their homes on the threat of death. (ANSAmed).