Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Acclaimed Young Photographer Provides An Intimate Look

Into The Life Of Syrian Refugees In Turkey

Young Syrian Girl at Akcakale Refugee Facility (PRNewsFoto/Turkish Heritage Organization)

Acclaimed teenage photographer Sinem Oguz, in coordination with The Turkish Heritage Organization and the support of the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAIK), today debuted “On The Border: Syrian Women and Children” – a photo exhibition offering a first-hand look into a day in the life of young Syrian refugees in shelters along the Turkish border.

Sinem, a Turkish-American high school junior at Leonia Academy of Science in New Jersey, traveled to the country’s largest refugee housing facilities in Harran and Akcakale to capture the lives and experiences of Syrian children who have taken refuge in Turkey. Since 2011, more than 2.7 million Syrians have taken refuge in Turkey, the majority of them woman and children.

“Despite fleeing their homes and leaving everything behind, the Syrian women and children exude grace, strength and resiliency,” said Sinem. “I’m honored to have traveled to Turkey and captured a day in their lives to show to the world how this conflict is about more than politics, it’s about people.”

Born in Ankara, Turkey, Sinem immigrated with her family to the United States in 2009. She is now a high school student at the Leonia Academy of Science in New Jersey. Among her numerous interests and athletics participation is her natural affinity toward capturing a moment in time. Sinem has taken courses on digital photography and short film production at Harvard, UCLA, Princeton and Yale. Sinem uses her talent to call attention to the challenges and struggles of people displaced by war and political unrest. Sinem is specifically passionate about advocating for the women and children displaced by the Syrian conflict.


“We’re honored to partner with Sinem Oguz and the Turkish Heritage Organization on this important exhibition that highlights the plight of Syrian refugees,” said Ekim Alptekin, Chairman of TAIK. “The stories of the refugees must be told, and Sinem’sphotography brings them to life with an uncommon honesty and grace. Their resilience is an inspiration to us all.”

The exhibition was made possible thanks to the generous support of The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAIK), a non-for-profit organization that operates under the umbrella of Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK). AFAD is an institution working to prevent disasters and minimize disaster-related damages, plan and coordinate post-disaster response, and promote cooperation among various government agencies throughout Turkey. They work tirelessly to support the 2.5 million Syrian refugees who live in Turkey.

The Turkish Heritage Organization (THO) is a non-profit organization established to promote discussion and dialogue around Turkey’s role in the international community and issues of importance in the U.S.-Turkeybilateral relationship. Founded by a group of Turkish-Americans with backgrounds in business and community leadership, the THO and its Advisory Board of global scholars strive to foster a deep and comprehensive dialogue to strengthen the relationship between Turkey and the United States, as well as the larger international community.

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