CAIRO – Offering hot meals to thousands of Syrian refugees on the Turkish border town of Kilis, the Presidency of Religious Affairs has inaugurated a mobile kitchen and bakery as part of its new campaign to help those hit by war.
“The mobile kitchen, which opened at Öncüpınar Border Crossing, is providing meals to refugees fleeing Syria, while the bakery distributes bread on refugees in the city,” the Mufti of Kilis, Mahmut Karatepe, was quoted by Huff Post Arabic.
“We used to send food parcels to Syrian refugees, however, the heavy shelling recently prevented them from cooking this food. Therefore, we decided to open a mobile kitchen at the borders to send ready cooked meals to them,” he added.
Karatepe noted that the kitchen offers 5000 hot meals to Syrians affected by war who live on the Syrian side of the border on a daily basis.
He added that the bakery produces about 40,000 bread loaves, out of which it sends 30,000 to the needy inside Syria and distributes the remaining 10,000 to Syrian refugees in Kilis.
The efforts by the Presidency of Religious Affairs were made as part of its new campaign, “Now is the time to heal the wounds”.
Earlier this month, Trucks, prepared for the campaign by The Presidency of Religious affairs and the Religious Foundation of Turkey, reached Hatay and Kilis.
Three trucks from the “Now it’s time to treat the wounds” campaign have reached the border gates of Öncüpınar.
The trucks with supplies have been placed in a camp near the border for those who need the aid.
“This campaign is one out of several initiated by our Presidency of Religious Affairs in order to help those who are afflicted by the saddening situation in Syria,” Mufti Karatepe said, Turkey Diyanet website reported.
“These people, some came to our country, others are in Bayırbucak, Syria just across Kilis, will be helped – even if the help is small – by these trucks which just arrived in our city. The aid of our Presidency of Religious Affairs will continue as long as needed.”
Kilis, the first town where Syrian refugees feel safe after crossing borders to Turkey, has been nominated for Nobel Peace prize.
The little town on the Syrian-Turkish borders is now home to about 100,000 Syrians who decided to stay there close to their home country, outnumbering Turkish people.
The burden of the Syrian refugee crisis has weighed on Turkey which has taken in more than 2.5 million Syrians and spent billions of dollars building refugee camps and providing care.