Turkey has begun building a new and upgraded refugee camp in the country’s southeast to accommodate tens of thousands of Syrians who escaped the conflict in the Kurdish city of Kobane in northern Syria.
The new camp will open in mid-January and house 32,500 people, the provincial head of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, or AFAD, reported on Sunday.
The camp will offer educational institutions, from middle school to high school, along with a fully functioning hospital, said Mahmut Sonmez who is in charge of AFAD’s operations for the southeastern province of Sanliurfa.
Most of the 180,000 refugees from Kobane and surrounding areas are currently living in makeshift shelters provided by local Turkish municipalities and non-governmental organisations.
Turkey houses 1.7 million refugees from Syria and spent $5.5bn to fulfill their needs, according to figures released by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday.
Although appreciative of the government’s efforts, the refugees seem to be torn over their new accommodations.
“We have been through too many camps. I would like to go back to my hometown of Kobane even if they (the Turkish Government) give me a house to live in here,” said 45-year-old farmer Abdulkadir Kanur, who arrived in Turkey with his seven children in September.
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant group began its Kobane offensive in mid-September, capturing parts of the town as well as dozens of nearby villages.