in this post, am going to speak about how i ended up living in Istanbul, am i a Refugee ?
before the war, back in 2009 , i used to come to Turkey for tourism every now and then, Because it's quite near, and i don't need a Visa to come here (Trust me, for Syrian people, it's so hard to get Visa any where, so many Syrians, including me, gave up the idea of applying to get European visa for example), and with the low Salaries in Syria, the big majority of people can't afford traveling so far away from Syria.
so, for me, this trip was no difference from the previous trip before the Syrian crisis begins.
to be honest, it was a little bit different, because i really needed to go out of Syria, to relax a bit, and to live peacefully for some time, away from the bombs and the Voices of rockets that the Syrian regime fires, i used to set in my room (with electricity outage for most of the day) hearing the voices of the Canons firing, and hearing the sound of the explosion afterwards, when the canon bullets hits the gourd.and knowing for sure that many civilians are dead or dying because of those bombs (yes, Children, women and elders are included too !), and not to mention the fighter jets, and the helicopters but , i couldn't do anything toward that.
so, the first thing i did after finishing my exams at the uni, is packing my luggage, and traveling.
and as i said in the first post, i was not planning to stay here, i was planning to stay here for 2 weeks maximum, but I've been here since the last 8 months (almost).
and because i was not planning to stay that long, i did not have the enough money for such a long period of time, because i did not even know or want to stay here .
how did i manage to survive?
when i came to Turkey, at first i went to Ankara, and i wanted to try CouchSurfing for the first time, so i posted a request and one Turkish guy hosted me, his name is Mahmut Dinçkal, it was a great great experience for me, so when i came to Istanbul, i stayed for few days in a hotel, and then decided to send another CouchSurfing request, but because my Profile was not Complete, no one replied to me but Lazar pascanovic, a great guy from Serbia, he was here in Istanbul, and he is one of the founders of the Serbia Travel Club , (i will not speak much about the club and my experience there, because it deserve an individual post, which am going to post it later).
in short, Serbia travel club, is open for travelers from all over the world to stay there for free, for maximum 5 days policy.
i stayed at there for 2 months.
at first, i sent a 2-nights request, and they hosted me, while i was there, the Syrian-Turkish borders got closed , and i couldn't go back to Syria, so, they decided that i can stay at there place.
i don't know if they allowed me to stay there for 2 months because i couldn't go back , or because we liked each other and we get along well (or may be because of the 2 reasons together :D ), in either reason , am really so so so Thankful for them :).
as you can see, the borders got closed, and i couldn't go back, it was something that i did not expect, and something that i was not prepared for, i even bought few presents for my family to give them when i get back.
so, am not a Refugee (or may be it's more right to say i WAS not, but now i feel that i am!), i did not escape from Syria, although sometimes i consider my self lucky enough to be out of Syria, when i see and hear of how many Syrians are trying to go out from Syria, and they fail, or get killed trying.
this is how i ended up living here in Turkey.
in Future posts, i will try to give you more detailed idea on how is it like to have a war going in your country, how is it like to be suddenly living in a foreign country without a job, and without a sources of income.
From Syrian who's living in Istanbul, With love.