Syrian refugees return home from Turkey for Eid

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By Tokunbo Salako
Syrian refugees return home from Turkey for Eid

Thousands of Syrian refugees are making their way back home from Turkey after the government said it will allow them to return for Eid celebrations.

For some it is an opportunity to see long lost loved ones. For others it is a long awaited day to go home for good.

Many have been lining up at the border for weeks. Among them are children who have never even seen their homeland.

Turkey closed its border with Syria two years ago, except for special cases such as emergency medical care; so for many of the three million Syrian refugees
this is their first trip home and a chance to stay even if the situation in the country remains far from stable.

“Their houses are in liberated areas and are not in danger that is why they will stay, but I’m from Aleppo, and the situation there is unclear. My house is in Aleppo, but I can’t go there,” explained Halil as he waited to cross the border.

Syrians with valid travel documents can return across the border (near the village of Oncupinar) at two different points until the end of September.

According to officials, anyone returning after the deadline will be treated as a new arrival and subject to the usual immigration process.