The new Turks
Syrians are putting down roots in Turkey
But trouble knocks at the gates
Ten years ago it was just a big, sleepy village, says Mohammed Duveydar, a doctor from neighbouring Syria, as he looks out onto Reyhanli’s busy main street. When he visited before the war locals would turn in early and wake up before dawn. But habits changed after the refugees came. Reyhanli, a short walk from the border, now sealed off by a concrete wall, remains a poor and conservative town, but seems to have a bounce in its step. Since the start of the war next door, its population has nearly tripled, to about 250,000. Syrians, most of them natives of devastated Idlib, now outnumber Turks. The main streets are thick with shops. Young people, Syrian and Turkish alike, stay up late into the night, inhaling cups of coffee or narghile smoke at newly opened cafés. Some Turkish girls have started wearing the Islamic headscarf the Syrian way, says a teenager. Some Syrian women have started wearing it like the Turks.
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