The Syrian family waiting for a French visa to safety

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Many Syrian refugees living in Turkey have gone to the French Consulate in Istanbul in the hope of obtaining a visa that will allow them to travel to France in safety. But only a small number ever get granted this precious document. Mediapart's Carine Fouteau tells the story of one Kurdish family from Syria who were twice forced to flee the fighting and who are now desperately waiting for a visa from the French authorities that would restore hope to their shattered lives.

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For four years the family has lived in exile, their lives dogged by worry and fear. It was back in April 2013 that this Kurdish family of six brothers and sisters plus their parents had to flee their home city of Aleppo, chased out by bombardments from President Bashar al-Assad's troops, rebel forces and jihadist fighters. Overnight they left everything behind them: their friends and relatives, their home comforts, their house, their neighbourhood, their daily routines and their professional and social status.