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Turkey treats Syrian girl wounded in barrel bomb attack

Syrian family expresses thanks for eight-year-old's free surgery as refugees struggle to go about their daily lives in Turkey
When Assad government forces hit the house of Emira Casem with barrel bombs, her face was badly burnt (AA)

HATAY, Turkey - An eight-year-old victim of a Syrian government barrel bomb will undergo plastic surgery Thursday, Anadolu Agency reported.

Emira's face was completely burned two months ago in a barrel bomb attack in Aleppo in Syria, according to her father Abdollah Casem, 40.

"We were able to save her but the burn marks remained on her face. We brought her to Turkey for the treatment, " he said. "The Provincial Health Directorate in Hatay examined my daughter. She will be treated in Mustafa Kemal University today." 

"My only dream is to see my daughter smiling with her previous face, I do not want anything else," he said.

He thanked Turkish authorities for the free surgery.

Emira's hand was also burnt in the attack (AA)

There are some 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, according to the UN. The new population has had a palpable impact on the economy.

On Wednesday, Turkish authorities ejected 40 Syrians from a park in Mugla province after business owners and tourism companies complained about them, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

The 40 belonged to eight families who escaped the Syrian civil war. The families of farmers hoped to find work in Turkey, but could not find jobs and ended up living in the park.

“We had all been farmers and never had weapons,” Jaber al-Jazairi, 36, told AP.

“We refused to fight those who we see as brothers. We sold whatever we had and fled our home. Some said there were farming job opportunities in Bodrum and brought us here before leaving. Now, we do not know what to do. We do not mean to hurt anybody.”

Locals said they felt sorry for the Syrians, but that they were bad for business.

“The Syrians may have been victims of some ill-intentioned people,” the owner of a nightclub, Bulent Şenol, told AP. “But I do not want to see them in front of my place right next to the Bodrum Port. I would like to see tourists there. The tourism industry was already in trouble here. If necessary measures are not taken, we will face serious problems.”

Turkish authorities sent the Syrian refugees to the Soke district of the Aydın province.

Syria has been gripped by violence since the regime launched a crackdown in response to anti-government protests in March 2011, triggering a civil war in which more than 211,000 people have died.