Syrian refugee camps in Turkey vote for camp leaders


Syrian refugees in Turkish border camps voted for their leaders on Thursday in a small exercise in democracy.


Zac Baillie

Syrian refugees in Turkish camps along the border voted for their camp leaders Thursday in a small act of democratic governance.

Thousands of refugees in the Oncupinar camp in the province of Kilis voted for their leaders with urging by the Turkish government.

The Associated Press estimated that about 6,500 refugees were voting Thursday at a makeshift school.

Al Arabiya reported that the refugees were voting for six neighborhood administrators and an 18-member administrative council.

More from GlobalPostBashar al-Assad on warship in Mediterranean under Russian protection: reports

There were 20 candidates running for the administrator post.

The last time some of the refugees had voted was in May during parliamentary elections in Syria, which were most certainly rigged by the government.

Opposition groups boycotted the elections, which took place during heavy fighting with rebels.

The cold winter has worsened conditions in the camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan where the majority of Syria's over half a million refugees have taken shelter.

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that a Syrian family was killed in a Jordanian refugee camp after their kerosene heater fell inside the tent starting a fire.