Picture power: Abandoned on the border

Image copyright Murad Sezer/reuters

The uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began three years ago. Since then more than 3.2 million people are thought to have fled the country, with another 7.6 million internally displaced. The figures are staggering, as are the pictures of the front-line fighting and the lines of refugees making their way across the border.

Yet, this picture by Murad Sezer, of Reuters, seems to me to sum up the loss of home those forced to flee must suffer. Here, he talks of the moment he took the picture of a cradle left behind at the Turkish-Syrian border near Suruc in September.

"A crossing point along the Turkish-Syrian border frontier was normally a hive of activity, with wailing children and families desperately trying to carry whatever they could manage across the dusty terrain.

"To my surprise on this particular day, the refugee collection didn't start. Bewildered, I started to look around me. My eyes fell on an empty baby's cradle, and I thought, 'How is it possible for someone to leave behind such a basic, but important, thing for a baby? Were the owners in a hurry? Was there no space in the bus or truck?'

"As I photographed the cradle, I thought how lonely and sad it seemed. For me, it signified a kind of hopelessness. If its owners had felt hope, perhaps they would not have left it.

"I took four images using a 24mm wide-angle lens and photographed the deserted border area in the background, aiming to illustrate the desperation the refugees feel, and the harshness of the environment, where baking sun can turn to driving rain in an instant. "

You can find out more about the conflict in Syria in our in-depth guide.

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