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Refugees struggle to build new lives in Turkey

Reporter: Michal Bardavid 丨 CCTV.com

12-20-2016 14:35 BJT

Turkey currently hosts over 2.7 million refugees from Syria. Only 250,000 of them live in camps. The rest are trying to survive and make a living. For these Syrians, the difference in cultures is all-too-real, and adjusting to life is made harder because they speak a different language. The Turkish government has been trying hard to make their integration easier. We go back to our correspondent Michal Bardavid, who reports from Gaziantep Turkey, where many Syrians have chosen to settle.

Thousands of Syrian refugees have made Gaziantep Turkey their new home. Some have been living here for over three years?one of the main barriers they came across with in Turkey has been - language. The Turkish government decided to take action.

The manager, Sukru Cakmak explains - earlier miscommunication among Turks and Syrians caused arguments that often got out of hand?some even resulting in killings.

He said, "A while ago there was a lot of fighting among them, but once the language problem was fixed, these misunderstandings were resolved."

The language certificate also creates job opportunities for Syrians.

"Once they complete the course they can become translators and find employment. Syrians have spread all across the world and translation has become a need everywhere," Sukru Cakmak said.

But it's not only Syrians that come to this center?Turkish students also learn Arabic and other skills such as music and chess?children also find an opportunity to bond in classes?

"I learned how to read and write Turkish here and now I can communicate better?I couldn't make friends before, now I make friends very easily," said Yasemin, a Syrian student.

Locals are also feeling the difference?some say Syrians have started to shop in Turkish.

With the Syrian war lingering on?it is clear that thousands of Syrians will continue living in Turkey, making integration efforts all the more critical.

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