Turkey-Syria business booms as conflict continues

Business leaders credit border trade, now at prewar levels, with preventing humanitarian crisis from getting worse.

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    Gaziantep, Turkey - The United Nations-brokered peace talks coincide with next week's fifth anniversary of the Syrian conflict that has killed more than 250,000 people, created the world's worst refugee crisis, and allowed the expansion of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) armed group.

    While the fighting rages on, hundreds of companies have sprung up in the Turkish city of Gaziantep to ship food and other essentials across the border into Syria.

    Turkish business leaders say the trade is preventing Syria's humanitarian crisis from getting worse.

    "I think that the aid and food items that cross from Turkey do avert a bigger crisis, if people are starving, they will come to Turkey notwithstanding borders or bombs," said Eyup Bartik, chairman of Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce.

    UN figures show that trade between Turkey and Syria is at prewar levels.

    Once the goods cross the border, they are transferred to Syrian lorries and it could all just as easily end up in the hands of the ISIL.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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