INTERNATIONAL > Syria refugee crisis getting worse, Turkey and UN says

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

As heavy clashes in Aleppo escalate, Turkish officials have begun to place the Syrian refugees in student dormitories due to a significant rise in the number of people seeking shelter in Turkey

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A member of Free Syrian Army holds his gun near a wall depicting a slogan reading, ‘Freedom of Aleppo,’ as the fight with military soldiers rage in the city. AA photo

A member of Free Syrian Army holds his gun near a wall depicting a slogan reading, ‘Freedom of Aleppo,’ as the fight with military soldiers rage in the city. AA photo

İpek Yezdani İpek Yezdani ipek.yezdani@hurriyet.com.tr

The U.N.’s refugee agency has said the current figure of nearly 150,000 people fleeing Syria’s civil war is expected to rise significantly, while a Turkish official expressed concern that a refugee crisis might be waiting at Turkey’s door if the flow of Syrian refugees continues as it has been in the last two days.

While the construction of new shelter camps continues in Turkey, authorities have had to place several thousand refugees in hotels and student dormitories in Gaziantep and Kahramanmaraş due to a lack of space at the shelter camps.

“If the flow of refugees continues like this, we might not be able to allow as many refugees to cross the border right away, because the construction of the other shelter camps will be finished in one month. Another option might be to place them in student dormitories and hotels,” a Turkish official told Hürriyet Daily News on Aug. 10.

Clashes continue in Aleppo and outside Damascus
Syrian government forces fought rebels outside the capital Damascus and in the northern city of Aleppo Aug. 10, as more civilians streamed across the border into neighboring Turkey to escape the civil war in their country.

Syrian rebels vowed to fight on in Aleppo, a day after being driven out of a key district under heavy shell fire by the army, which targeted other parts of the strategic city on Aug. 10, Agence France-Presse reported.

Exiled members of the opposition said Aleppo’s historic citadel, part of a UNESCO-listed world heritage site, had suffered damage in the bombardment of rebel-held areas that has accompanied the army’s ground offensive in Syria’s commercial capital, now in its third day.

A rebel commander, Hossam Abu Mohammed, said his men were still fighting in parts of Aleppo’s southwestern district of Salaheddin, after most fled on Thursday in the face of heavy bombing and advancing troops.

“We will not let Salaheddin go,” the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) Abu Mohammed told Agence France-Presse by telephone, as the third day of the government’s offensive to take the city raged. The army again bombed parts of Salaheddin, as well as the Sakhur and Hanano districts in the east of the city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that the latest violence has killed two civilians, among 11 killed nationwide. Just before dawn, a MiG 21 fighter jet dropped four bombs on rebel positions in Hanano.

U.N. refugee agency spokesman Adrian Edwards said the agency’s offices in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq have all reported large increases this week in the number of people who have registered as refugees or are in the process of being registered, according to a report from The Associated Press.
He told reporters on Aug. 10 in Geneva that in several countries, however, “we know there to be substantial refugee populations who have not yet registered.”

More than 6,000 new refugee arrivals have been counted in Turkey this week alone, many from the besieged city of Aleppo, Edwards said. Jordan has 45,869 refugees, Lebanon 36,841, and Iraq 13,587, he said.

Turkish officials, however, said 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived over the past 48 hours, increasing the number of refugees in Turkey to about 54,000. Of the 4,000 new refugees who have flowed across the Turkish border in the last two days, 2,000 are still waiting at the border area, an official said. “There may be a possibility of crisis in placing refugees if the refugee flow continues after the new shelter camp in Şanlıurfa is filled to capacity,” the Turkish official said.

Syrian refugees pouring into Turkey via the southern cities of Hatay and Kilis have been sent to the new shelter camp in Şanlıurfa, which is still under construction. More than 1,400 refugees have been placed in student dormitories in Kahramanmaraş, a Turkish official said. Previously 3,000 refugees had also been placed in student dormitories in the Islahiye district of Gaziantep, he said.


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Notice on comments

Aryeh Rapaport

8/12/2012 4:13:15 PM

Blue, Is impossible to say all fighters are Salafies or mercenaries. Its clear people who started demonstrations around 18 months ago were simple, hard working, seeking a better future. Enough with blaming the whole world for everything & not taking responsibility. Instead of Syrian govt allowing demonstration & waiting for them to pass bye they decided to shoot, stop, torture, jail men, woman, children. What sane govt would order helicopters, tanks, soldiers to attack her own citizens, capital?

Dennis Kavaz

8/12/2012 7:45:22 AM

Recent reports are signifying that 40,000 Syrian civilian’s has been 150,000 thousands has fled and more fleeing; still the Assad regime and entourage continues to do what they do best-kill, destroy homes and cities; in addition 50 his army Generals and a minister resigns and defects; if Mr Assad cared why is Syrian in chaos and anarchy? Furthermore if he was honest and sincere why his solders and 50 would his army Generals and a minister defect? Why are the tanks in the streets?

Aryeh Rapaport

8/11/2012 11:40:46 PM

West and Turkey did not send in tanks or planes. The Syrian people are raising up, fighting and dying. Refugee hardship is a small price to pay for switching a dictator. We should help these people in suffering and invest more to topple this backward killer faster.


8/11/2012 9:06:41 PM

Turkey did not start the civil war and mass killings in Syria. No matter what one may think about Turkey's role here,Turkey just can not be expected to sit and watch. It would have been far better I think if Erdogan had not made it a matter of personal matter and we limited our support strictly to humanitarian and political arenas.

Blue Dotterel

8/11/2012 3:05:58 PM

If you want to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people and solve the refugee crisis, then stop supporting the fundamentalist Salafist based terrorists in the FSA creating the refugees. Qatar, Saudi, Turkey, the US, France and Britain are primarily responsilbe for creating the refugees entering Turkey. They supply the mercenaries attacking Syrian cities and committing massacres against Syrian Christians pro-Assad sunnis, and Alewites.

stella maris

8/11/2012 1:41:09 PM

@ Aryeh Qatar, a warmonger of the highest class, not sending food, but always weapons. Qatar as well as Saudi is not interested in the people's welfare, only in their influence in the ME and they sure do not want Turkey to achieve a dominant role. Forget about the West! They are the worst, all of them, US, EU, name it! Only interested in their own goals. Clinton did not come to talk help, but the organisation of "Post-Assad", whatever that means. They all might be on the wrong side of history.

Syriano Syrian

8/11/2012 1:01:22 PM

If Turkey would not support terrorism against Syria they would not have refugee problem as there would be no more war

Aryeh Rapaport

8/11/2012 1:03:06 AM

First, where is the Arab world? Why dont I see and Hear Qatar and SA reporting of huge deliveries of food, blankets, money to help Turkey cope with this. Second, Where is West? Third, the world should come together as it did after Haiti by giving financial and material support for these refugees.
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