In recognition of World Refugee Day, on June 20, THO presented acclaimed Turkish-American photographer Sinem Oguz’s photo exhibit “On the Border: Syrian Women and Children” on Capitol Hill. The exhibit was displayed at a public reception in the Cannon House Office Building to present a glimpse of the faces of Syrian refugee children in Turkey. On a day of recognition for the 65.5 million people displaced globally, multiple representatives of Congress, Congressional staffers, and local NGO and civil society representatives attended the exhibit. Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH), Co-Chair of the Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans, delivered opening remarks.
Since 2011, nearly 3 million Syrians have taken refuge in Turkey, which is now host to the largest refugee population in the world. Turkey’s more than 700-mile long border with Syria, Iraq, and Iran has made it the immediate safe haven for women, children, and families fleeing neighboring areas besieged with conflict and in need of immediate humanitarian solutions.
Sinem Oguz’s exhibit, which was sponsored by THO, features photography of Syrian women and children living in temporary housing facilities in Turkey. The photographs capture glimpses into the lives of young refugees in shelters along the Turkish-Syrian border. Oguz, a Turkish-American high school student at Leonia Academy of Science in New Jersey, traveled to Turkey’s largest refugee housing facilities in Harran and Akcakale to document the lives and experiences of Syrian women and children, who make up the majority of the nearly 3 million Syrians who have taken refuge in Turkey since 2011. The exhibit emphasizes the challenges and struggles of people who have been displaced by war and have taken refuge in Turkey.
You can view Oguz’s full photography series below.