MOSCOW, September 9 (RIA Novosti) – Approximately 1.4 million Syrian refuges have arrived in Turkey since the civil war erupted in Syria three years ago, with 30,000 children being born in neighboring Turkish provinces during this period, Hurriyet Daily reported.
The majority of these children were housed in 24 refugee camps that have been set up in 10 Turkish provinces. They are being provided with basic health services and identification cards.
There is no official figure on the number of babies born outside the refugee camps, but local officials believe that another 30,000 children could have been born to Syrian refugee families in Turkish provinces.
An increasing number of Syrian women are deciding to marry Turkish men, seeing this as a last resort to survive and feed their families.
Women’s rights groups are worried about this trend, saying that Turkish men exploit unprotected and vulnerable Syrian women.
"A lot of women agree to these marriages out of sheer desperation. All they think about is how to feed their family, how to make ends meet. These arrangements might seem like the only way out, and men exploit this," a women’s rights group activist said as quoted by the Guardian.
According to another activist, Syrian woman fearing being on their own, often suffer from domestic violence and abuse, but these cases are seldom reported, making it hard for local authorities to tackle the problem.
Syria has been torn apart by civil war for more than three years. The Syrian Army has been fighting multiple rebel groups, including foreign contractors, since March 2011. According to the latest figures from the UN’s human rights office, the civil war in Syria has claimed more than 191,000 lives and according to the UN’s refugee agency, more than 3 million Syrians have become refugees and over half of the country’s population has been displaced since the beginning of the conflict.
A UNICEF report says that 5.5 million children have been affected by the civil war in Syria, 10,000 died in the conflict. Another 8,000 have lost their parents and other family members.