Cardboard boxes provide a semblance of walls. A Chaldean community center has made its space available for some Christian refugees. The Chaldean church has made a significant sacrifice here; renting the center out provided significant revenue to fund the church’s mission and relief work in the area.
People sleep on mats, a few hundred square feet for a family, pressed against the next family’s few hundred square feet. It’s close and noisy. These are the privileged quarters of about 50 people – privileged because they aren’t crammed into a tent city with 30,000 others.
It’s not ideal, of course, and they’re going to be evicted in a week. The center needs its revenue stream back. The residents do not know where they will go.
This is the fourth in a series about my trip to southeastern Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan, along with four others from the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia. The trip was led by Fr. Dale Johnson, who grew up in northern Washington but has lived much of the past 25 years in southeastern Turkey as a Syriac Orthodox priest. The earlier posts are available on my blog, unflinchinglife.com.