The loss, the fight and the wait

by Pedro Sousa Raposo

Suruç , border between Turkey and Syria

October 2014


The conflict in Syria is entering its fifth year.

In the past years the amount of victims and refugees has grown exponentially. Neighbouring countries have received Syrian and Kurd refugees in large numbers. They are fleeing the conflict anyway they can, trying to save themselves and leaving everything behind. Figures are of about 3,9 million refugees caused by this conflict and distributed between Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and Turkey. In Turkey there are more than 2 million people crossing the border looking for safety and help. Turkey is today the largest refugee centre and this is the worst humanitarian crisis of the day.

The South of the country and the border zone with Syria are vast and arid areas where refugee camps multiply. Some are governmental, some informal. Turkey receive the people that arrive everyday in suffering, their lives postponed. The ones that cross the border coming from Kobani look at their country from the high Turkish hills in a midst of impotence and revolt. Here you can have an actual view of the attacks and of the areas that are bombed. Nearby, in the West of Kobani, a few people wait for nightfall to get back to Syria. Although no traffic is allowed, people risk crossing the border, driven by imperatives stronger than war itself.

In Suruç, in the three existing refugee camps, winter approaches.

Amid the corridors of tents, preparations are made to minimise the impact of the rain and the cold. Volunteer teams distribute food and give instructions about basic hygiene procedures and illness contention.

The hope that lives in the young and in their contagious joy fades away in some who see the possibility of returning to their lands and homes more uncertain and distant by the day, and the present of those who wait holds no future perspectives.