9th January 2016
This is a report from 31st May 2014 and was written by a resident in Syria for the last 24 years.
I asked her to verify reports of “sex tourism” in the Syrian refugee camps across the Middle East. This was her reply :-
The first information we received was from Syrians in the refugee camp in Turkey.
I need to look this up and confirm the name and date, because I am talking about 2011, 3 years ago.
The basic facts: girls and women in the camp were abused by TURKISH guards/officials. These women and girls were in the camp without Fathers or husbands, because the whole reason for the camp, at the expense of the Turkish gov’t, was to create a ‘safe’ place were women, kids and old folks could stay, while their men are FIGHTING in Syria. These people are mainly from the IDLIB region, not Aleppo. These people are from the area just North East from Latakia.
This was the FIRST camp in the conflict. It was a NEW thing, and the Turkish guards had not been told they were not to abuse these people, they thought no one would complain. But these ladies talked to the media, and to human rights people and they even phoned back home to Syria on cell phones, telling relatives what had happened, and then the word spread inside Syria from there. I imagine that there were ladies who refused to go to Turkey after that. Maybe those ladies are here in Latakia, at the Sports City tent community?
They said that there were numerous pregnancies from these rapes and abuse. These women were very upset. In Syria the law is such that rapes are reported, there is not a history of honour killings here, women have rights, and they have complained in the past and people do go to jail for rape.
Because of this history, I can understand why women in the refugee camp would not accept being raped, as par for the course. Syrian women are strong and argumentative, they will not suffer abuse if they can avoid it.
But I do recall, that in 2011-12 period, there were ladies and kids desperate to come home to Syria. They were just sick of camping out in a concentration camp, and they begged the Turkish officials to let them come home.
They were told NO.
The Turkish gov’t must keep those people for several reasons:
#1. for a political reason, to show the world that there is a civil war in Syria, and prove that people are leaving because of danger from the regime. If people want to go HOME, that means they don’t mind the regime anymore. That is a big NO-NO in Turkey’s political agenda.
#2. The Turkish government makes huge amounts of money from charity donations to the refugee camps, they make money from the GULF donations, and from others. Those refugees are pawns in the big game, and part of it is political, and the other part is money.
Concerning the SEX trade, or “1 hour marriages” as they call it: this is the speciality of Jordan, because the Saudi men can easily drive there, so it is a prostitute business, covered up with a Sheikh and hiding behind Islam.
The families are poor, under educated, and frankly these types of things have happened before, even without this crisis. Here in Latakia, we used to get thousands of Gulf and Saudi men driving up here all summer long. They would drink, eat, dance and have a rip-roaring time here. Latakia is a typical resort town, and has a reputation like Las Vegas, but on a tiny scale. Latakia is as wild as you can get, without going to Lebanon.
We would see these men here, definitely from Saudia, and they would have some young local girl with them getting married. He would have his honeymoon and then dump her and go back to Saudia. In my opinion, this is the fault of the girl’s family, and not the rich man’s fault. They should be ashamed to ‘sell’ their daughter.
Concerning the refugees in Lebanon: this would be the place were they have suffered the most. Lebanon has no government, no police force, no Army. Everything is empty there. In Lebanon it is dog-eat-dog, and every-man-for-himself. If there is a way to make money, regardless of the evil involved, they will be doing it.
Not all Lebanese are like that, but because there are no rules and no laws, everyone does what they want, and make sure not to be caught.
The camp at ARSAL is 100% the women and kids of Syrian fighters. That place is very bad, the fighters used it just to rest and recover, thanks to Doctors Without Borders, who have a clinic there to patch up the terrorists and sent them back to fight.
Once the Syrian gov’t cleaned up Kalamoun, I wonder what has happened to the left-over fighters there?
Have they given up the fight, or did they take a boat ride to Turkey? There is a ship leaving Beirut everyday for Turkey.