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Republic of Turkey Ministry of Interior Disaster and Emergency Management Authority

Dr. Mehmet Öz Meets Syrian Children 12 July 2018

Renowned Turkish surgeons Dr. Mehmet Öz and Dr. Halit Yerebakan visited the Nizip Container City as a part of an activity organized by the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

Öz and Yerebakan received a briefing from Head of AFAD Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu and other officials in Nizip in southeastern Turkey near the Syrian border and visited the hospital of the container city.

After examining health equipment and supplies and consulting with Syrian doctors, Öz and Yerebakan met Syrian children.

Öz, his spouse Lisa Öz and Yerebakan paid a visit to the container home of a Syrian family and gave medical advice to the family about the health of a 14 month old sick baby.

 "I see their strength"

Speaking to journalists, Mehmet Öz thanked all those who contributed to the establishment of the camps and provided services to the residents of these camps.

Noting that camps are very clean and healthy, Öz said, “I was mostly interested and touched by the people that I saw and talked. I see their strength from their conversations.”

 “We cannot abandon these children to their fate”

Assistant Professor Halit Yerebakan who contributed to the organization of the activity noted that the camp visit program was organized as a social responsibility project.

Noting that the war in Syria is gradually decreasing, Yerebakan said, "Today, there are too many children in Syria. Either we will educate them and raise world leaders or abandon them to their fate.”

Visit to Azez Camp in Syria

After his contacts in Gaziantep, Öz passed through the Öncüpınar Customs Gate together with Head of AFAD Mehmet Güllüoğlu and Assistant Professor Halit Yerebakan and visited the Azez camp in Syria.

Travelling around Azez region which was liberated in the aftermath of Operation Euphrates Shield, Öz visited the hospital and schools established with the support of Turkey. Öz visited the eye clinic of the local hospital and asked Head of AFAD Güllüoğlu’s help to test the medical equipment and made an examination on Güllüoğlu.

Öz came across Musenna Asi (13) who was extensively injured was injured during the bombing in Deynizor city of Syria and examined the child at the hospital garden. He asked about previous treatments and took photos of the child and exchanged views with the team about possible aesthetic surgeries.

Later, he distributed gifts to children and paid a visit to the home of the Yasin family. Öz examined the family’s child, Zeynep (12) who has a hole in her heart. Öz asked the AFAD team to give support to Zeynep’s treatment in Turkey and said that he will make his own contribution forher surgery.

 "There are thousands of children here"

Dr. Mehmet Öz stated that the situation in Syria is different than he expected.

Underlining the ratio of the young population is high in the region, Öz said "There are thousands of children here. Adults are also trying to survive but if we fail to offer our help, we all pay for this mistake. These children may become lawyers, doctors in the future or they fail. Due to this reason, we must offer aid.”

"The only salvation for these children is Turkey"

Öz when asked about medical treatment some children are receiving in Syria said the following:

"Persons that I examined today in Turkey are the ones who had medical examinations before and waiting for surgery until they are ready. In Syria, I met a 12 year old child who has a hole in her heart. It would be nice if he had surgery years ago but they could not perform any surgery and then there was a war. Now, they have no one to cure her. There is hunger and war. Due to this reason, with Allah’s permission, we will bring her to Turkey with AFAD’s help. We can perform surgery if she could be brought to Turkey or else, she will die. There is a curable hole in her heart. The only salvation for these children is in Turkey.”

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