One year after the liberation from the terrorist militia „Islamic State“, the northern Syrian city of Jarablus was rebuilt – largely thanks to the help from Turkey.
The reconstruction of Jarablus has begun, reports the news portal Zaman al-Wasl, referring to a documentary of FRANCE 24, multi-family homes are being built, the infrastructure is being restored and Ankara’s influence is felt everywhere. Even the fire engines bear the inscription „Gifts from Turkey to the Syrian brothers“.
Weeks after the Turkish armed forces liberated the city in August 2016, Turkey began to lay power lines to Jarablus. The emergency hospital set up by the army has now been replaced by a permanent structure financed by the Turkish Government. There, patients are greeted with portraits of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is celebrated as a hero in northern Syria.
„He did more for Syria than anyone else. What have the Arab countries done for us? Nothing“, said Cuma Muslim, a resident of the Syrian border town.
Schools teach Turkish
The children have returned to school, but the curriculum has changed. Traditionally, French was taught at the schools in Jarabulus. Now the students are learning Turkish.
„In contrast to the rest of Syria, there are no French lessons in Jarabulus any more. Turkey is a friendly country, so it makes sense for the children to learn this language“, said Turkish language teacher Abdurahman Hadschali to FRANCE 24.
The mayor of Jarabulus, himself of Turkmen descent, a Turkish minority in the Arab country, appreciates the help from Ankara. He commented:
„I hope the Turks never leave. At least I hope they stay a little longer. Otherwise everything gets complicated.“
The Turkish Post has already opened a branch in Jarabulus. There are no services yet, but the ATM is operating.
Before the occupation by the terrorist group „Islamic State“, about 30,000 people lived in Jarabulus. The population has halved in the last three years, but many have returned since the liberation of the city.