Turkish barber and carpenter discuss impact of Syrian refugees arriving in Turkey
(17 Sep 2012)
1. Close of barber Sinan Ayranci cutting hair in his barbershop
2. Mid of Ayranci cutting hair in his barbershop
3. Wide of Ayranci’s barbershop
4. SOUNDBITE (Turkish) Sinan Ayranci, barber:
“We have been living here as brothers with Alawites, Sunnis, Armenians and Christians for a long time. We didn’t have any problems until the Syrian refugees arrived. They (Syrian refugees) are trying to stir up trouble. I don’t think they’re all innocent. And so we don’t want any more refugees here. I speak for all of us in Hatay: we don’t want a war, and we are against war. We just want to live here in peace with our Alawite, Sunni, Armenian and Christian brethren.”
5. Various of of people walking in a public market in downtown Antakya
6. Wide of carpenter Sukru Bugdaycigil going into his carpentry shop
7. Mid of Bugdaycigil shaving wood
8. Close up of Bugdaycigil shaving wood
9. SOUNDBITE (Turkish) Sukru Bugdaycigil, carpenter:
“The people of Antakya have been affected by the decrease in the flow of money (trade) with Syria. We’ve been affected economically. This situation has been going on for almost two years and it’s not getting any better. People have been ignoring this problem, and now there’s unemployment. This unemployment is causing financial distress. People have expenses, but no income.”
10. Mid of Bugdaycigil talking with his friend
11. Wide of people walking and shopping in downtown Antakya
Over a year into the Syrian refugee crisis, some Turkish business owners are becoming increasingly vocal in their complaints about the growing number of Syrians seeking refuge in their country.
Turkey’s southeastern Hatay province – and its capital Antakya – have taken the brunt of refugees and is struggling to cope with the influx: nearly 80,000 refugees are being housed in 10 camps close to the Syrian-Turkish border.
Up to 40,000 Syrians are living in Turkey outside the shelters, according to some estimates, while the UN refugee agency puts the number at up to 60,000.
A large number of them are in Antakya, and some locals now say they don’t want any more.
“They (Syrian refuges) are trying to stir up trouble,” says 36-year-old barbershop owner, Sinan Ayranci. “I don’t think they’re all innocent. And so we don’t want any more refugees here.”
There have been reports of sectarian tension in Hatay province, with Turks accusing Syrians of inciting discord.
Many Turks in the region belong to a minority sect that is linked to the Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam that dominates the Syrian regime and is fighting an insurgency comprised largely of Sunni Muslims.
Another Antakya business owner claims the conflict in Syria has brought trade between the two neighbours to a near standstill, and that the people of Antakya are suffering the economic consequences as a result.
“There’s unemployment. This unemployment is causing financial distress. People have expenses, but no income,” says 62-year-old Sukru Bugdaycigil, a carpenter.
A few weeks ago, Turkey quietly started to relocate some of the tens of thousands of refugees living outside the shelters to relieve pressure on local communities and better handle security in its tense border area.
The Syrian uprising, which began in March 2011 with mostly peaceful protests calling for change, has turned into a civil war.
Activists put the death toll at over 23-thousand as forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebels battle each other.
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