Syrian family in Turkey longing for home meters away

SANLIURFA, Turkey

A 70-year-old Syrian and his 10-person family, displaced due to YPG/PKK terrorists and moved to Turkey’s southeastern border province, look forward to returning home just meters away.

İbrahim el Hasan Elkicel came to Sanliurfa’s Akcakale district with his family four years ago from northern Syria’s Tal Abyad district, and now they are hopeful to live in their hometown again with the help of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring.

On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Elkicel is partially paralyzed, but every day for the last four years, he visits the old customs gate at the border to watch his house and homeland.

“Although I refused, the members of the terrorist organization took my house by force. They completely emptied it in front of my eyes, and did not leave even a blanket to sleep on,” Elkicel told Anadolu Agency.

Turkish state and its people opened their arms to him upon arrival at Sanliurfa, he said, stressing his gratitude.

He moved to a house near the border with his family to be close to Syria, he added.

“Every day I get out of my house in Akcakale and watch my house in Tel Abyad, just about 500 meters [1,640 feet] away, across the border. Nothing is better than the homeland.

“My only wish is to go back home, and live together with my children again, before I die,” he added.

“My hope is that the region is completely cleared and made safe. As soon as security is provided, and the doors open, I will return to my homeland, visit my daughters, and live at my house again,” Elkicel said.

“I am thankful to the Turkish people and the state forever. Thank God, they gave us the opportunity to live in a Muslim country,” he added.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a meeting in Russia’s Black Sea resort town of Sochi.

Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey’s border with northern Syria within 150 hours and security forces from Turkey and Russia will conduct joint patrols there.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

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