Syrian restaurants in Yusef Pasha district in Al Fateh district in Istanbul
In the center of the Turkish city of Istanbul, especially in the ancient area of Al Fateh, which is home to many Syrians, due to its cultural and social nature close to the Syrian community, the smells of spices and grills are mixed with the smell of ovens and pastries to surprise the spread of more than 40 Syrian restaurants, Syrian cuisine of world renown.
Despite the international reputation of the Turkish cuisine, the Syrian restaurants have been well received by the people of the Arab communities and by the people of the host country. These restaurants have created a remarkable economic activity, as well as building bridges of friendly relations between the Syrians and the Turks. , Played a significant role in bringing together the Syrian refugees and the Turkish citizens, which quickly accelerated the integration of Syrians into Turkish society.
The successes boosted the merger
Sherif, a Turkish young man who works in a supermarket, says: “The most that attracted me to Syrian restaurants is the generosity of their owners. Whenever I go to my barber friend, his Syrian neighbor welcomes me and offers me a piece of Syrian sweets, although he does not know me.”
The Turkish barber Samih, who is also a resident of the conqueror, considers that the Syrian shawarma is better than Turkey, despite Turkey’s reputation for it. “At first I had some Syrian restaurants, some of our neighbors invited us to have lunch with them. I invite my friends to eat in Syrian restaurants, and in turn they eat their food with their friends. ”
While some of the Turks we met said that Syrian food is creamy unlike Turkish food. The elderly avoid Syrian restaurants in general for fear of their health. Some Syrian restaurants do not adhere to the standards of Turkey, such as cleanliness and fast meals. If these standards are to compete with Turkish restaurants.
“Our restaurant started four and a half years ago, first we did not have Turkish customers, they were afraid to go to our restaurants, but it’s changing now. Our Turkish customers account for between 30 and 40 percent,” said Mohamed Asfour, “Our restaurant has a great reputation in the region, where we are committed to all health standards, and we offer hospitality to anyone who enters the restaurant even if he does not buy, which contributes greatly to our rapprochement with the Turkish Ocean. Any differences between us and them, but deal with them as brothers. ”
“There are two reasons for this trend. The first is the high demand in the market by the Syrians in Turkey, in addition to Arab tourists and members of the Arab communities, as well as Turks, for example, the Syrians need the same food that they used to consume in their home, and the other reason is linked to the speed of obtaining the material return, the sector depends on direct cash sales, and investment does not require the distribution of goods to be collected for the price of the future, “.
“I know very well the restaurant owners, and I expect in three years’ time that all the restaurants in Yusuf Pasha area will become Syria,” said Majid Sagit, the director of a translation and consultancy office. “In the last year, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of Syrian restaurants, despite the closure of the border and the migration of hundreds of thousands of Syrians who were living in Turkey to Europe,” Saghit added.
Osama, a Syrian young man who runs a restaurant in Karajmerk district in Al-Fateh, said: “Turks like to eat pancakes and pastries. Cooking is concentrated on the plate and the kebab, and we deliver these requests to the houses.
6322 Syrian company in Turkey
There are no specific figures for the number of Syrian restaurants in Turkey, but the newspaper “Yeni Shafak” Turkish reported in a report that the number of companies established by the Syrians in Turkey since 2011 until the end of the first half of this year, amounted to 6322 companies, noting that the share of Syrians Of foreign investments in Turkey amounted to 14%.
The daily contribution of the Syrians to the Turkish economy amounted to about 1 billion and 260 million Turkish lira ($ 371 million), while Rami Sharraq believes that the real figure for Syrian investments is much higher, because these figures depend on the number authorized when registering the company, In principle, the investor rarely discloses the full amount to be invested, and when the company exercises its activity and achieves successes, as in the Syrian companies, these companies invest much larger numbers to enhance their profits and presence.