Turkey

Damascus on the Bosphorus

The better-off Syrians today live in Istanbul

It’s the largest Syrian city out of Syria. Some Syrians just pass from Istanbul: they’re going to Europe. Many others decided to stay there, starting their life again and populating a town in the town counting over a million people. Someone call this community Damascusbul.

It’s something feeding a flourishing economy: two thirds of the businesses opened in Istanbul in the last year are lead by Syrian entrpreneurs – and the turnover is estimated in five billions of US dollars. Hard-working Syrians escaping war, reaching Istanbul with just change in their pockets and now owning restaurants, hotels, businesses in food industry and tourism, and they often give jobs to other Syrians.

“I refused to go to Germany two times” Adnan, 31 years old, owner of a pastry shop explain “because I don’t want anybody calling me ‘refugee’. I’ll go to Germany as a tourist, holding my head up high, with my money. Remember: we escape poverty. So many of us were just fine in Syria, and then lost everything. We are escaping the greatest conflict from seventy years”.

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