Outside Syria, outside camps

Since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, almost three years ago, the Syrian people have had flee the fights, the poverty, the radical groups, etc. Some stay in Syria, others manage to reach bordering countries. In Turkey, refugee camps are full, the conditions there are relatively good, but a part of the refugees remain outside the camps because of lack of space. They are on their own, without legal status.

Along the 800km common border between Syria and Turkey, in cities as Reyhanli, Akçakale, Killis, Karkamis or in small villages lining the border, there is a small scale part of the Syrian society : families refugees, volunteer of the FSA or the Islamic Front at rest, Generals and Colonels, civil activists, journalists, deserters, former student, and foreigner coming to make their Jihad, humanitarian workers having driven about fifteen ambulances from England to Syria, wounded soldiers impatient to return to the fight in spite of heavy wounds and others wondering what their life are going to be after loosing several limbs.

All these people live close to one another, while only 200 meters farther, they would be jumping at each others throats.


Depuis le début de la révolution syrienne il y a maintenant presque trois ans, les Syriens fuient les combats, la pauvreté, les groupes radicaux, etc. Certains restent en Syrie, d’autres parviennent à passer dans des pays frontaliers. En Turquie, les camps de réfugiés sont pleins, les conditions y sont relativement bonnes mais une partie des réfugiés n’y ont pas trouvé de place, ils sont livrés à eux-mêmes, sans statut légal.

Le long des 800km commun à la Syrie et à la Turquie, dans des villes comme Reyhanli, Akçakale, Killis, Karkamis ou dans des petits villages bordant la frontière, on rencontre à une petite échelle une partie de la société syrienne: familles réfugiées, activistes civiles, journalistes, déserteurs, anciens étudiants, blessés de guerre impatients de retourner au combat malgré de lourdes blessures ou se demandant ce que sera leur vie quand ils leur manquent les jambes et un bras…

Toutes ces personnes cohabitent froidement alors que 200m plus loin, elles se prendraient à la gorge.


Outside Syria, outside camps

"I am 20 years old, I used to be a hairdresser in Homs. When the revolution began, I joined the Free Syrian Army. A mortar shell fell very near me, I lost a leg... Because of the wounds, my other leg and my right arm have been amputated."
A mother and her daughter. Many refugees had no place in camps, they are on their own, without legal status.
Poor suburb of Gaziantep with a Kurdish majority; both Turks and refugees from Syria.
"I am 22 years old, I studied medicine. I participated in demonstrations, I was beaten and imprisoned, I fought for the Free Syrian Army. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant wanted to recruit me to spy on my own village... I want to study social...
"I used to be a candy maker and seller before the revolution. I come from Homs. 15 months ago, I was hurt, I took 7 bullets in my legs. As soon as I can, I will return to fight."
General Abdullateef Al Joboree, founder of the first division of the Free Syrian Army. The general was killed early august 2014 when an air strike hit his headquarter near Idlib.
A dead soldier on a video taken by a member of the Liwa Diraa Al Ahraar brigade (part of the Islamic Front).
A family of refugees, from Racca to Sanliurfa.
Scars of a gunshot wound of a member of the Al-Farouk brigade (FSA). Healing process : 9 months.
A family of refugees, from Racca to Sanliurfa.
Main street of Yayladagi. Offices of a far-right turkish political party with a flag of the "Grey Wolves", a nationalist organization. Yayladagi counting approximately 12000 inhabitants, half are Syrian refugees (split between two camps).
"When I joined the Free Syrian Army at the beginning of the revolution, we were 40 in my brigade. 38 died, the 39th is now in a wheelchair. I could spend the night listing the men who died beside me and I would not have finished by morning. I am 19...
Teachers lounge of a school for refugees, in Turkey. All of the team is Syrian. Books and teaching are in Arabic. Some Turkish classes are given.
A mother and her son, the father is an officer of the Free Syrian Army, the son is traumatized. "Take my picture, I don't care about Bashar".
A journalist is listening to an activist (both are Syrian) in the activist's apartment. Antakya, Turkey.
Ahmed and his younger brother are Palestinian. Before the war, they were refugees in Latakia in Syria. Now, they are refugee in Killis, in Turkey, in a refugee camp attached to the border post.
"Bashar had the forests burnt to stop the rebels from hiding there. Regularly, we cross the border to replant trees and bushes."
A Kurdish refugee, in the room he shares with other men. Kiziltepe, Turkey.
"I was an elementary school teacher. We were in my car, five friends and I. Between two checkpoints, we rolled on a mine. Four were slightly hurt, one died. I left my left arm there, the doctors transplanted the skin of my back onto my burned legs."
Syrian children, refugees in Guveççi, a border village.
Two Syrians in front of their shelter in an under construction building. Reyhanli, Turkey.
Syrian refugees. The old man is Turkish, he has taken the initiative to help the refugees, in particular for housing.
A young Syrian man in a village near the border.
"They ruined Syria, now they are ruining Turkey." An old man, in a street of Akçakale, a border city, face to face with Tell Abyad, held by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.