Turkish town nominated for Nobel Prize for Syrian refugee work
Syrian families at a Turkish border gate near Kilis on February 8, 2016. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)
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The U.S. State Department Population, Refugees and Migration Office (PRM) has praised the Turkish town of Kilis, which has been nominated for a Nobel Prize for hosting Syrian refugees.
“One Turkish town has done so much for Syrian refugees it’s up for the Nobel Peace Prize” the PRM official account tweeted sharing a link of a story on Kilis published on the Public Radio International website, a Minneapolis-based American public radio organization.
The article by Richard Hall praises Kilis for sharing the heavy burden of refugees as its population has already doubled as tens of thousands of Syrians have fled the war.
“For most, it is a stop on a longer journey: farther into Turkey or beyond, to Europe. But for more than 100,000 Syrians, it's the final destination — or at least the place where they will wait out the war,” Hall wrote in the article.
With a population of 129,000, the city that is just a few miles from the Syrian border is home to about 120,000 Syrian refugees.
At least 250,000 people have been killed and 10 million displaced since the Syria conflict began in 2011, according to UN figures.
According to Turkish authorities Turkey hosts more than 2.5 million Syrian people, and has spent $9 billion so far on caring for those who have fled the war.
Earlier this month, Justice and Development (AK) Party vice chairman Ayhan Sefer Ustun nominated the people of Kilis for the Nobel Peace Prize.
"People share their jobs, houses, trades and social spaces [with Syrian refugees]. I suppose that such an example of an act of mass peace does not exist in the world,” Ustun wrote in his letter to the Nobel committee, according to the article.