Syrian beggars, a fixture in Turkey’s urban centers over the past year, have begun to disappear in recent weeks. These obviously desperate people — young women nursing babies at street corners, children stopping passersby and gesturing for money, others forcing open car doors at red lights — spawned both compassion and indignation among Turks. On several occasions, beggars have been rounded up by municipal police and put on buses to refugee camps in the border regions. But they soon escaped and returned to the big cities.
Syrians were considered temporary "guests" when they first began their disorderly and poorly documented flight in April 2011. But as the civil war in their country dragged on, it became obvious that they are here to stay and that the problem they pose cannot be resolved with occasional roundups.