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Four Women, Shared Hope

Four Women, Shared Hope

"My two child grew up without a father. So hard…"

    "Wherever we went, there was war"

       "No bread, no electricity. We came here illegally... "

          "Children were most affected people by this war. They became mentally depressed"


        These are the words of four women who escaped from the war in Syria and came to Turkey with thousands of difficulties and try to hold on to life here. Some left their husbands, some of their mothers, some had to fall apart with their children; but they all wanted to run away from the war and build a new and better life. In the efforts of holding on to life, their paths intersected at Turkish Red Crescent Community Center in Kilis, Turkey. 

Turkish Red Crescent Community Centers, under Red Cross – Red Crescent Movement Cooperation Programme, have been carrying out works on psychological support, protection, livelihood development and harmonization for displaced people and  people in need in those neighborhoods Turkish Course beneficiaries in Turkish Red Crescent  Community Centers improve their language skills and interact with other people with its different social and cultural activities since 2015. Community Centers currently operate in Adana, Ankara, Bursa, Gaziantep, İstanbul (Sultanbeyli), İstanbul (Bağcılar), İzmir, Kilis, Konya, Mersin, and Şanlıurfa provinces. These centers are preferred by many Syrian and local people, including women, children, young people and people with disabilities, with different types of courses such as vocational training and Turkish courses.
 

 

We have listened to the stories of these four strong and courageous women who participated in many courses on sewing, Turkish language, and hairdressing at Turkish Red Crescent Kilis Community Center funded by the European Union Delegation.

Hayriye (33) is a mother with 2 children and who came to Turkey 5 years ago. At first, she says, they were very tired; but then she adds "Thanks to the Turkish Nation": "The Turkish Nation has helped a lot". Hayriye's two boys, aged 16 and 18, have been working in the store and the hairdresser. Her husband has been in Azez, a city between Turkey – Syria border, for three years because of his mother's illness. She states that after coming to the Turkish Red Crescent Community Center upon her friend’s advice,  and starting to attend Turkish Language course, she became to communicate with local people more easily. More important than that, she regained her confidence thanks to the efforts of the Community Center: “The people in Turkish Red Crescent Community Center is so nice to us, they talk about positive stuff. I do not feel myself alone in this place”.

Hayriye (33) said that she regained her confidence thanks to the efforts of the Community Center, she does not feel alone anymore.

Amine (47), is a strong woman who not only left her 4 of 5 children in Syria; but also a woman who has been fighting with her health problems. Amine, who is at risk of being paralyzed due to a mass in his brain, says they tried to go many places in Syria. She adds “Wherever places we went, there were wars… No Hospital, no electric, no doctor. The situation was miserable.”. She confesses within the tears on her eyes that she can get rid of her unhappiness, at least partly, with the Turkish Red Crescent Community Center. She tries to communicate with people through sewing and Turkish Language courses. She points out that the teachers behave her very well, help her and tells “I do not go back unless the war finishes”.

“I do not go back unless the war finishes,” Amine (47) says (Left in the photo).

“We do not want to hear questions like ‘mom,  will the missile fall again?’. Our children are mentally depressed.”.

Desnim (28), who has been in Turkey for 3,5 years and who has 2 children, is the youngest one. She said they decided to come to Turkey with her husband via Lebanon. They preferred the city of Kilis because of the fact that her husband’s company in Aleppo opened an Office in Kilis. 

Despite her relatively more stable and comfortable life with her husband and two children, she is very touched by the fact that she has not seen her parents for three and a half years. "Let's stop the war and let families come together," she says. When she learned that she could get Turkish citizenship some time ago but she is not allowed to bring her mother to Turkey because of the closure of the borders, she says that her psychology became very bad. "When my sister calls me and says 'I miss you very much', I tell her not to use that word. I want to forget that word. ".

She says that the life goes on despite any negative situation. She continues to struggle for a good life for her two children, that is why she says, meeting with Turkish Red Crescent Community Center was and will be very good for her and her family. “ I first took my children here, then I decided to take part as well. We do not feel like a stranger in the Community Center.”. Desnim also works as a volunteer about children work in the Center. “ Let’s stop the war, let the family come together again. Children were most affected people by this war; therefore we want to announce to the whole world. Stop this war”, she says. 

Living with her husband and children in Kilis, Desnim (28) also works as a volunteer in Kilis Community Center (Right in the photo)

 “I came to Turkish Language course for writing and reading. My children know Turkish but I want to teach them better and want to help them in their lessons”.

Hatice Abdullah (30), Syrian Turkmen from the border village, Yazbak Village, are able to communicate in Turkish. She says that she was 9 months pregnant when they first came to Turkey 5 years ago. Her first meeting with the Community Center was due to her children. When we asked her reason to come to Turkey, we faced with very surprising and wonderful answer: “I came to Turkish Language course for writing and reading. My children know Turkish but I want to teach them better and want to help them with their lessons.”. His son Bünyamin, who was with us at the time of the interview, had health problems as well. His 2 kidneys do not work and they have to go to Gaziantep every 15 days due to his Nephrotic Syndrome.  

Hatice benefits from hairdressing, sewing classes besides the Turkish language class and she expresses her wishes as being a Turkish citizen and living in Turkey permanently.

Hatice (30) benefits from hairdressing, sewing classes besides the Turkish language class and she expresses her wishes as being a Turkish citizen and living in Turkey permanently.

Today we presented stories of 4 strong women, who have different lives; but who did not lose hope and never gave up. As Turkish Red Crescent Community Centers, we promised to provide a better life for them and make a contribution to social cohesion.