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Safe Haven? 30 Syrian Children Allegedly Raped at Refugee Camp in Turkey

© AP Photo / Lefteris PitarakisSyrian refugee children chant slogans behind a fence at the Nizip refugee camp in Gaziantep province, southeastern Turkey.
Syrian refugee children chant slogans behind a fence at the Nizip refugee camp in Gaziantep province, southeastern Turkey. - Sputnik International
At least 30 Syrian children have been raped at a refugee camp in southeastern Turkey that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkey’s former prime minister visited with EU officials last month, Turkish media reported Thursday.

ANKARA (Sputnik) – The Nizip refugee camp 25 miles east of Gaziantep was founded in 2013 and is home to some 5,000 Syrian migrants. Merkel, Turkey’s former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, EU Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans visited the camp on April 23 to mark Children’s Day in Turkey.

People queue for free food at a makeshift camp for migrants and refugees at the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of Idomeni, Greece, May 11, 2016. - Sputnik International
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A cleaner at the camp was alleged to have raped 30 boys aged between 8 and 12 from September 2015 until early this year, the BirGun daily said. The suspected rapist, whose initials were provided as E.E., was claimed to have paid 2-5 Turkish lira ($0.68-$1.69) in exchange for the acts.

The allegations surfaced after families of eight children filed a lawsuit, unfazed by their refugee status that kept other families from going forward, the newspaper said. It added that the scandal was revealed after military personnel noticed E.E. taking children to the surveillance cameras’ blind spots.

A high ranking military officer from the camp accused the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) of failing to notice the rapes.

AFAD retorted by claiming the publication of rape allegations months after the incident were attempts to discredit Turkey as a host of nearly 3 million Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

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