Turkey establishes orphanage in Syria named after Egypt’s Morsi - report

Turkish authorities have named a new orphanage in northwest Syria after former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Middle East Monitor reported on Thursday.

The orphanage is a joint project between Turkey’s official Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and non-government associations Ozgur-Der and Fetihder in the Syrian provincial capital of Idlib, situated in the rebel-held province with the same name.

The new facility includes 200 houses along with a mosque and a school, Middle East Monitor cited the head of Fetihder as saying.

Morsi was Egypt’s first elected leader from the Muslim Brotherhood, a pan-Islamist political organisation, and a close ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, before being deposed by a military coup in 2013. He subsequently died whilst on criminal trial and was described by Erdoğan as a “martyr”.  

Turkey has maintained a presence in the Idlib region since Oct. 2019, building a series of observation points aimed at limiting clashes between rebel groups and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Several military incursions have also given Turkey control of other parts of northern Syria, including the predominantly Kurdish region Afrin, as well as territory running from Azaz to Al-Bab and Jarablus.

The area between Al-Bab and Jarablus in particular has seen significant Turkish investment in local services and recently began using the Turkish lira following the collapse in value of the Syrian currency.

Turkey is home to around 3.6 million Syrian refugees, according to the United Nations’ refugee agency, whom the government has repeatedly indicated it hopes to resettle in Turkish-controlled Syrian territory.