Derelict building collapses on Syrian refugee family, killing mother

A Syrian woman and her three children were trapped after a derelict building in which they sought refuge collapsed in southeastern Gaziantep province, Bold Medya reported.

The woman, Fatma Rahmun, 60, died from her injuries shortly after being rescued, while the three children remain in critical condition.

An estimated 3.6 million refugees have been granted temporary protection in Turkey. The majority of them live outside camps, in precarious and challenging circumstances. The Turkish Red Crescent conducted a survey in 2018 which showed that most Syrian refugees were employed in irregular jobs that came with low wages as well as poor working conditions and exploitation.

According to a Brookings Institution report, over 64 percent of Syrian households live close to or below the poverty line.

Poor living conditions have led to fatal accidents in some cases. A Syrian couple living in a container home lost their six-month-old baby in a fire in October 2020. The parents were not at home as they were working at the time of the fire, which had started to due to an electrical problem.

There have been many reports of such fatalities over the years, and according to Professor Murat Erdoğan, of the Turkish-German University Center for Migration and Integration, this is not surprising as refugees in Turkey are pushed into ghettoization.

Professor Erdoğan said most refugees were left to fend for themselves without any proper guidance. He said state policies were not effective in aiding the integration of refugees and that Turkish society was “othering” Syrians, which has been causing irreversible social damage.

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