By Susan Chun
On Friday night after AC360° aired, Anderson and team embarked on a nearly 28 hour trip (including two plane rides, layovers and a three hour drive) that took us from New York City to the eastern border of Turkey.
Where are we going? The eastern part of Turkey borders Syria. Believe me, we would love to actually go into Syria and report what’s happening in the country. However, despite Bashar al-Assad’s regime’s claims that journalists are free to report from the country, our visa applications have disappeared into the Syrian embassy in Washington with no word on if we are approved, denied, or even when a decision would be made.
So we will stick to the Turkey side of the border, which holds a piece of the conflict the world should see. Nearly 25,000 Syrians have fled across the border into Turkey since the uprising in Syria began last March. Turkey, which maintains an open border policy with Syria, has set up numerous camps close to the border for the refugees that have been steadily streaming in to escape the violence.
We have heard stories of families who fled their homes, mostly on foot, to escape the relentless shelling of cities like Homs, Aleppo, Jisr al Shughur. We’ve heard stories of parents who have lost sons, wives who have lost husbands, ordinary citizens who have lost not only their homes but their beloved country as well. We’ve heard their stories, but we haven’t met the victims ourselves, so we will spend the weekend visiting the camps and speaking with some of these refugees. We will tell the world their stories onMonday night when we broadcast live at 8pm ET on CNN.