By Ozgur Alantor
KASTAMONU, Turkey (AA) – Leaving his village for the first time in more than a decade, a Turkish carpenter is traveling hundreds of miles (kilometers) to deliver handmade toys to children in northern Syria.
Mustafa Alt, who lives in the village of Cayyaka along Turkey’s Black Sea coast, will deliver more than 1,000 of his wooden tops to children living in Afrin, northern Syria.
"I couldn’t sit comfortably here while our neighbors [in Syria] were facing persecution and oppression,” Alt told Anadolu Agency.
He said he decided to start making the toys after seeing a crying Syrian child on television.
Alt will be taken to Afrin to personally deliver his toys by the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), an Istanbul-based NGO.
The foundation offered to take Alt there in recognition of his love for the children, said a local official of the group.
“I was deeply moved by their crying and their sadness. I haven’t left my village in 15 years. Now I’m leaving to see the laughter of the children of Afrin,” said Alt.
Turkey on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Syria's Afrin. On March 18, Turkish troops and Free Syrian Army liberated the Afrin district center.