Over 900 Syrian Refugees Depart Turkey for Canada


Turkey - This weekend (5-7/2) a third flight carrying nearly 300 Syrian refugees left Turkey for Canada. IOM Turkey, in collaboration with the Canadian and Turkish governments, has now facilitated the movement of just over 900 Syrians from Turkey, as part of Canada’s commitment to resettle 25,000 Syrians from the region.

“This is significant because it is one of the first organized, orderly movements of Syrians from Turkey. With over 2.5 million Syrians now living in Turkey – not to mention asylum seekers from other countries - the strain on humanitarian actors here has steadily increased,” said IOM Turkey Chief of Mission Lado Gvilava.

“This year marks the fifth year of the conflict in Syria and funding is not coming through fast enough to meet the needs of this huge influx of people. We urgently need resources to address their immediate needs and to plan for their humanitarian transfer, resettlement or medium-term integration,” he added.

“I came to Turkey with my family. Last year, they crossed to Greece, and onwards to Europe. My wife and I could not go, because we didn’t have money to pay the smugglers.  But, this was for the best.  Right now, I’m so happy that we are going to Canada,” said Mohammed, one of several Syrians who left Ankara for Toronto as part of the humanitarian transfer program.

IOM Turkey continues to support the Canadian government by providing transport, basic form-filling, biometrics, interpretation and logistics support. Canadian officials interview the refugees and make decisions on eligibility and admissibility including biometric recording and visa.

IOM then arranges their travel, including the flight, and provides translators, medical and operational escorts to ensure their safe arrival in Canada.

For more stories of resettlement to Canada, please go to www.canada.ca/refugees. To see more about Mohammed and others: http://iamamigrant.org/stories/Canada

For further information, please contact Abby Dwommoh at IOM Turkey, Phone:  +90 (0) 312 455 1202,   Email: MediaIOMTurkey@iom.int

Muhammad Saleh Bakir and daughter Ankara are among the Syrian refugees who were helped by IOM to resettle from Turkey to Canada. © IOM 2016