By Vakkas Dogantekin
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's first lady Emine Erdogan marked the World Orphans Day with a tweet Monday praising those who work to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable.
"Today, there are more than 400 million orphan children. Every single one of them is trying to survive," Erdogan said in a tweet.
"We, as the ummah [Muslim community] of an orphan Prophet [Muhammad], believe that the smile on an orphan's face will make the world more beautiful. Hail to those who make orphans happy and help them smile," she added.
According to UNICEF, 23 million Syrian children are living as refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq.
Turkey is home to hundreds of orphanages and have established others in other countries that house refugee children and war victims. It also has the largest orphanage in the world with a capacity of 995 children in the southern Turkish province of Hatay bordering Syria.
The complex was built in 2017 built like a neighborhood so children would not feel like orphans. It is staffed by 400 employees including caregivers, teachers, doctors, psychologists and gardeners who live and work at the site.