ISTANBUL Reshad Jones Youth Jersey , Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- At first sight Istanbul's busy Findikli Street in Fatih district seems to be not different from others in similar middle-class neighborhoods. It is packed with budget restaurants, shops and coffee houses.

Hustle and bustle is all around, with busy workers trying to get the best out of their lunch break, students rushing to schools before the bell rings, and kids mumbling gibberish without being noticed.

But with a deeper look, one could notice that those kids are actually begging in Arabic. Restaurant and shop signs, price tags and even ads outside the realtor offices are all in Arabic.

Syrian refugees, fleeing their war-torn country with bitter memories of war and lost loved ones, have been trying to start over here. They have actually set up a small Syrian town around the district.

Inside Tarbus, a vibrant Syrian restaurant, Syrian folk melodies were being played in the background. On the menu in Arabic a variety of delicious Syrian foods are shown.

"Buhara pilav," a Syrian specialty rice dish, is most popular among the restaurant's Turkish and Syrian customers.

Mohammad Nizar Bitar, owner of the restaurant, is one of more than two million Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey over the past few years.

Bitar opened his small restaurant in 2011 after fleeing with his family to Turkey with the help of the opposition Free Syrian Army.

"I had only 1,000 dollars with me. I employed two Syrians and started to run this business," he told Xinhua.

He soon turned his restaurant into a chain, with nine branches established across the country offering jobs to more than 300 Syrian refugees.

"Syrians in Turkey need jobs, they are good workers and they work very hard," said Bitar.

"Turkey needs workers with skills and new ideas," he continued, noting that many Syrian doctors, translators and skilled workers are currently residing in Turkey and "waiting to serve Turkish people."

As Turkey's biggest city, Istanbul is among the most popular spots for Syrian refugees who think the roads here are paved with gold.

The number of Syrians living in this metropolis hit 500,000 recently.

However, life is not easy here. Many refugees are unemployed. Those who are lucky to find decent jobs can barely pay the high rents, as they usually are paid less when compared to their Turkish counterparts.

"I'm working 12 hours a day and my salary is 1,500 lira (about 500 U.S. dollars)," said Munzer, a Syrian refugee in his early 20s who is working as a waiter in Tarbus.

He is living with his family of five in a bitsy room. "I and my two brothers are working day and night to pay our 1,200 lira (about 400 dollars) rent," he said.

Still, he considered himself and his family very lucky as he has "a job to do and a place to stay."

Bitar pays 250 to 350 dollars to his new workers. "I gradually increase their salaries as they become more experienced," he explained.

He is trying his best to help other refugees in the city who knock on his door. "But how can I cope with them alone?" he said. "I am just a single person."

He expressed his deep grief for those who lost their lives in the Aegean Sea as they were trying to reach Greek islands.

More than 3,000 refugees seeking better lives in Europe drowned in the sea this year alone.

Bitar called upon European countries to open their doors to Syrians. "Do not let them die in the sea, do not forget them in the refugee camps," he said.

Samer al-Kadri, another Syrian refugee who owns a bookstore in the neighborhood, also urged European countries to accept more Syrian immigrants.

"European leaders are actually telling Syrian refugees, 'Ok if you survive in the sea and you don't die, you can come to Europe. We can do something for you'," he said sarcastically. "But they become murderers for us."

He urged Turkish authorities to ease the issuance of work and residence permits to Syrians so that "they quit dying on their way to Europe."

In his view, Syrians choose to leave Turkey because they feel insecure without legal support for their presence in the country.

Ankara is refusing to grant Syrian refugees the right to seek asylum in Turkey. Syrians are considered "guests" under the temporary protection regulation adopted in 2013. They can be sent back to their war-torn homeland at any time at the discretion of Turkish authorities.

Despite the drawbacks in Turkish law, "Turkish authorities generally turn a blind eye to allow Syrian people to work freely," said Bitar.

For Bitar and al-Kadri, who are among the few refugees who have succeeded in their business in Turkey, their primary goals are to help other Syrians and establish a cultural bridge between Syrian and Turkish peoples.

"I want Turkish people to see different sides of Syrians and I want Syrians to understand Turkish people's sensitivities," al-Kadri said. "Both have many similarities but both are unaware how much they resemble each other."

In his small bookstore, where both Arabic and Turkish books are sold, al-Kadri has organized several free events to attract the attention of Turks.

For one, a Syrian musician, who plays traditional musical instrument of "oud," performs twice a week in a small room of the bookstore which is full of Arabic books.

"We are becoming a big commstarts at 7 p.m. sharp, "but you have to come an hour earlier to find a vacant seat," said al-Kadri.

unity here for both Syrians and Turks, growing day after day," he noted with satisfaction.

For Syrian refugees here, their dreams are similar.

"One day to be able to go back to their homeland," al-Kadri said.

"I wish the war comes to an end soon," said Munzer. "All I want is to see a peaceful Syria."

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