Syrian Dom refugees face further discrimination in Turkey | Dom of Syria, Kemal Vural Tarlan, Syrian refugees, Bashar al Assad
Syrian Dom refugees face further discrimination in Turkey Print

//Syrian Dom Refguees in Turkey by Kemal Vural TarlanSyrian Dom Refguees in Turkey by Kemal Vural Tarlan

Dom, the Gypsies of Syria, are one of the most neglected victims of the Syrian war. Kemal Vural Tarlan, journalist and activist from Turkey, follows the plight of this group in the Middle East and says that the Gypsies suffer from discrimination in all the region, from Iraq to Syria. “The government that came to power after the American invasion of Iraq allowed the destruction of the neighbourhood that was once home to 80,000 gypsies. These people are not wanted by others either. Now we see gypsies who were born in Iraq, moved to Syria and now live in Turkey” he says in his articles.

According to Tarlan, the Dom of Syria were targeted by both the President Bashar al Assad's regime and the opposition groups. Government forces bombed their neighbourhoods and the Islamist opposition groups attacked them as they did not regard them as being "Muslim enough".

Of the half a million Syrian Gypsies, 50,000 are thought to have escaped to Turkey. However, here they are subject to further discrimination both by the Turkish people and the other Syrian refugees, Tarlan says. A directive by the Turkish Interior Ministry calls for the Syrian refugees to be sent to the camps. Their tents are being burnt and they are forced to either move to camps or face being returned to Syria. And what they undergo in the refugee camps is not much different than elsewhere: The other refugees in the camps don't want the Dom.

As a result, they try to survive living on the streets begging for money or food and working as temporary workers without access to healthcare services.