Reports | 28 09 2016
After he arrived in the Turkish city of Gaziantep to escape the war, Zidane started a new life, turning from a merchant in the countryside of Aleppo, to a scrap collector of in the country of asylum!
Many Syrians who have fled to Turkey, were forced to work in stressful jobs with little income in order to have a living for their families, such as the twenty-eight-year-old man “Zidane”.
Zidane said: "I used to work in the trade field, but I lost my job because of the poor living conditions inside Syria, and after we moved to Gaziantep, I could not find a good job opportunity, and finally I decided to work in collecting scraps, such as nylon and cardboard from the streets, parks, and other public places, and at the last of the day, I go to a trader whom I deal with, to sell to him what I’ve collected during the day. "
Zidane confirms that there is no demerit in his work, contrary to what others think, where his relatives criticize his job a lot him, but still his main concern only to feed his family and insure his children education.
"One kilo of nylon’s price is up to 10 Turkish pennies, while the cardboard price is up to 20 pennies per kilo, the more you collect, the more you get profits, but of course, I hardly gain 25 Turkish Liras per day." Zidane explains the nature of his work.
Elderly collect scrap too!
The difficulties of life did not distinguish between those who have fled to Turkey, people of all ages have been subjected to many hardships embodied in their families’ expenses that exceed their monthly income, and as an example, Hamid Abu Mohammad, (65-year-old).
"I had to work in the field of collecting scrap to feed my children, I have orphaned children whose father died earlier. I am their grandfather who is taking care of them now", says Abu Mohammed.
He continues: "I couldn’t imagine that I'm going to work in such field, but fate decreed that, though, I do not consider it as a disgraceful job, and there is no shame to earn money by your own efforts and sweat."
Uncle Hamid can’t work continuously, so his son helps him, where Hamid’s mission is to collect scrap in the vicinity of his house, and in the nearby streets.
And about the income he gains, he answered: "All I gain during the week does not exceed 150 TL - equivalent of $ 50 – that means it is barely make us bear the burden of living expenses."
A profitable business!
During wandering in the city of Gaziantep, we met a Turkish merchant named (Ramadan), whose Hamid works for in the field of scrap collecting. Ramadan spoke to us using his weak Arabic language that he learned through dealing with Syrian workers, he said: "This career name in the Turkish language is (Khurdaji), i.e. collecting scrap and recycle it. I have spent a long time in this field, and I dealt with many Syrian and Turkish workers, who come to me every day, carrying what they have collected during the day."
He explains the nature of his work, saying: "everything have been collected in my store, go to the Turkish merchants, who have large factories specializes in recycling waste."
We tried to know from Ramadan, the commercial process carried out in details, but he refused to reveal this information, stressing that prices change every time period, and there is no stable income.
For his part, the young Syrian Huzaifa, who knows well about this kind of trade, he said: "The Syrians living in Gaziantep, endured the worst circumstances of life, many of them are still unemployed, while there are people working intermittently, such as working in painting workshops, tiles maintenance, etc. While those who work in the Turkish laboratories are heavily exploited, but still many Syrians are turning to the Turkish labs for the reason of the stable salaries."
According to Huzaifa, the sale and purchase of scrap profession do not have a daily stable wage for the worker, but it depends on how much effort he does in the streets.
He continues: "Collecting one ton of cardboard gives up to 200 Turkish Liras, but this weight needs days in order to be collected, and most of the workers work in the field of cardboard collection because the price of the kilo is better than plastic."
More than 300 thousands Syrian live in the city of Gaziantep, many of whom settled in the city and opened economic facilities, small and medium shops, while most of them are still working with the Turks for low wages without even having a work permit which can save their rights, health, such as insurance and getting the minimum wages, and other rights.