MERSIN, Turkey — In a bustling office on a palm-lined street along the Mediterranean shore, Ahmet Ammar Restom is busy answering phones, rifling through papers and greeting clients. He looks like any another businessman, but in the eyes of the Turkish authorities he is a refugee — and he doesn’t like it.
“When I go to government offices to sort out problems, I’m treated as a refugee. But I’m a businessman,” the Aleppan merchant told Al-Monitor, proudly sharing the documentation for his latest shipment of cooking oil exports. “I don’t take any aid [from the Turkish state]. On the contrary, I am aiding the state — I pay taxes.”