Palestinian refugees in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, Syria. (Reuters / Stringer)
Palestinian refugee Firas Abdul Kader, currently taking shelter in the Turkish city of Izmir, said he has been denied admission into Turkish hospitals after he failed to receive the temporary protection card “kimlik”.
Speaking with the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS), Firas said he entered the Turkish territories in mid-2018 with his wife and three children. They were all arrested in Reyhanli city for illegally entering the country and held in custody for 27 days.
“We’ve been requested to sign security documents every couple of weeks”, he said. “Up to now, we’ve not received temporary protection cards.”
“During the detention period, my family and myself had gone through very hard moments. I experienced horrible nightmares, not knowing whether I could leave the prison and provide for my children”, he further told AGPS.
He added that once he was released from prison, a doctor told him that he needed an urgent eye surgery. But the hospital administration refused to let him in because he does not hold a kimlik visa.
Firas continues to sound distress signals over his deteriorating health condition, saying he might lose sight at any possible time.
Hundreds of Palestinian refugees have been unable to provide for their children and families in Turkey. A large number of companies, factories, and shops shut their doors for fear of further COVID-19 contaminations. Several Palestinian families have lost their sole sources of income as a result.
Unofficial statistics indicate that 10,000 Palestinians from Syria have sought shelter in Turkey, where they have been facing dire socio-economic conditions and denied access to the local labor market.
Turkish embassies continue to prevent Palestinian refugees from obtaining visas. As a result, hundreds of Palestinians have embarked on life-threatening journeys via illegal immigration roads to reach Turkey, fleeing conflict zones.