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Why are Syrian refugees returning from Turkey?

More Syrian refugees are expected to return home from Turkey this year if the Turkish authorities continue to impose lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Syrian refugees enter Turkey in 2013
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ALEPPO, Syria — Over the past few weeks, the number of Syrian refugees voluntarily leaving Turkish lands and heading back toward opposition-controlled areas in northwestern Syria has increased. Young people started flocking back home to Syria after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced tighter measures April 26, including a full lockdown in Turkey, to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Almost every day since, large numbers of Syrian refugees have gathered in front of the immigration office in southern Turkey's Hatay province, where they hand over their temporary protection cards and then head to Syria through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing controlled by the rebel group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in Idlib province. Bab al-Hawa is the only Syrian crossing that welcomes back refugees returning voluntarily because of the difficult conditions, including unemployment, that they face.

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