In Syria, even unaffiliated men of fighting age have been denied medical care over suspicions that they might be with the opposition, says Donatella Rovera, senior crisis researcher at Amnesty International, who has documented human- rights abuses inside Syria during the conflict. “There is so much need on the Turkish side because there is so much deprivation, and deliberately so, on the Syrian side,” she says.
A man with a wound to his arm is carried in for medical treatment at a hospital in the town of Khan Sheyhoun on April 9, 2012 in Syria. (John Cantlie / Getty Images)
“When you have just five people with major injuries in some hospitals, you declare an emergency. What about 100?”
Once the exiles are treated in Turkey’s hospitals, they are discharged, often to refugee camps or private homes, where they can recover from their injuries. in one apartment in Antakya, a city near Reyhalin,, one man lay on a mattress on the floor, scratching his thigh above the stump that was once his leg. Another sat staring at the television, which was tuned to the channel guide; under his shirt, a hole in his stomach showed his intestines, covered only by a plastic bag sagging with fluid. in another apartment, in Reyhanli, another border town, a man blocked a reporter from entering the premises. “The world already knows what’s happening to the Syrian people,” he said.
With the refugee camps now full to almost bursting, and with newly-injured Syrians arriving each day, convalescent homes are sprouting up in Turkey’s border towns to accommodate the overflow. the area’s largest opened over the last week in Reyhanli. Young FSA fighters limp around on crutches. in one room, Mustafa Salah Ismail, 27, reclined on his bed, smoking a cigarette, listening to music on his cellphone and fingering a bracelet of prayer beads. His legs lay limp in front on him, and urine dripped through a catheter tube that ran out from his shorts. He’d been paralyzed from the waist down while fighting in Latakia in June. Asked about his plans for the future, he said, “Just the collapse of the regime.”