2,000 prefabricated houses to be built for Syrians

February 10, 2012, Friday/ 17:17:00/ ERCAN BAYSAL

As forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continue to massacre civilians, Turkey is planning to set up 2,000 prefabricated houses for Syrians seeking refuge in Turkey's southern provinces near the Syrian border.

The Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) recently completed a tender process concerning prefabricated houses to be set up near the Öncüpınar border crossing in the province of Kilis. TOKİ plans to improve the infrastructure and build two primary schools and a secondary school as well as two mosques.

Föy İnşaat, an İstanbul-based construction company, won the tender, which seven companies competed for, and has already set to work on the project.

The prefabricated city will be set up in an area of 315,000 square meters. Two-thousand prefabricated homes, which will be provided by the Prime Ministry's Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD), will be built after TOKİ has completed improving the area's infrastructure.

The company that won the tender for the construction of the prefabricated city will also renovate old, unused state buildings, which include a building formerly belonging to Education Ministry, a former police department building and a building previously belonging to the Health Ministry near the area.

The Syrians that have fled Syria to Turkey are currently being hosted in tent cities built by the Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) in the towns of Reyhanlı, Altınözü and Yayladağı in the southern province of Hatay and will be transferred to the prefabricated city once it has been built.

Meanwhile, the head of TOKİ, Ahmet Haluk Karabel and Kilis Mayor Yusuf Odabaşı, has been assessing the area where the prefabricated city will be built over the past few days.

According to official numbers from July, 15,228 Syrians have sought refugee in Turkey since the Syrian government started a brutal crackdown on its own citizens in March last year following nationwide protests. More than 5,000 of them have since returned to Syria of their own volition, but 10,227 Syrian refugees in Turkey being accommodated in tent cities set up for them in the southern province of Hatay.

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