ANTAKYA, Turkey — For the past month, the news media have monitored the battle for Kobani — the Syrian town with a majority Kurdish population — from the southeastern border town of Suruc. From there, the media have also covered the Kurdish protests in Turkey that have left 40 dead. Yet, in the Turkish province of Hatay, about a 4-hour drive from Suruc, residents kept silent on both matters.
This province, which received the first batch of Syrian refugees, is unique for its diverse social fabric that includes Arab Alawites, Sunnis, Christians and Jews. Here, the groups live harmoniously and respect each other’s customs and traditions. This multicultural society has high rates of literacy and an overwhelming number of doctors and lawyers.