For weeks I’ve been passed by truck after truck carrying temporary housing units. I often hear the trucks coming before I see them, because the webbing they use to strap the housing units onto the truck beds makes a distinctive flapping sound in the wind.
All of the trucks were moving west, every single one of them. I didn’t see even one truck carrying a housing unit east. By the second or third day of this I started to wonder where they were taking all these housing units. I ran through a couple theories, and then remembered those Syrian refugee camps I had seen and heard about last month, when I was closer to the Syrian border. I’ve been meaning to ask someone if those housing units were now being used to house Syrian refugees, as I suspected, but I never got around to it.
Today I got a chance to find out. At the end of the walk I was standing by the side of the road, trying to catch a ride back to Tatvan for the night. One of those trucks came by and I stuck out my hand to signal for a ride. The driver pulled over and I climbed into the cab.
After the initial “get to know you” small talk, I asked him where he was headed. “Kilis,” he said. Kilis is a small province near the Syrian border. “Are these houses for the Syrians?” I asked. “Yes they are,” he said. “The government wants us to move these things from Van (where they were used after a major earthquake a year or two ago) to the Syrian border, to house the refugees.”