Abou Mohammed, a former apple and peach farmer from Jabal al-Akrad in the countryside of Lattakia, now relies on rolling cigarettes for a shop in the Turkish city of Antakya to cover his costs of living.
He told Iqtissad that he had struggled to find an occupation suitable for his age until a shop owner asked him to take the job.
“The shop owner gives tobacco and papers and filters to me when he receives the boxes I prepared a day before, almost 100 packs of cigarette a day. I don’t like this job, but I have to do it.”
Similar jobs have spread in many Turkish cities and have become the only source of income for many Syrians, amid a lack of job opportunities.
Hand-wrapped cigarettes are sold in Turkish shops for two Turkish lira per pack. Many Turkish people have swapped to smoking Syrian cigarettes due to the cheap price.
With a difference in cost of about 100 Turkish lira a month, most Syrians in Turkey smoke the cheaper Syrian tobacco instead of Turkish cigarettes.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.