Hundreds of Turkmens flee to Turkey
ISTANBULFive hundred Syrian Turkmens crossed the border into Turkey on July 11, and 200 more were expected to enter yesterday, a high-level Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.
The biggest group of Turkmen to flee to Turkey since the uprising began has been placed in a shelter camp in the southern district of Yayladağı, which is close to the Syrian-Turkish border. Members of the group said the Syrian regime’s shelling of their villages in the northwest of the country over the last three days pushed them to head for the Turkish border.
Sadeddin Molla, a Syrian Turkmen who defected to Turkey on July 11, said regime forces had been shelling the Turkmen villages in the Bayır-Bucak district of Syria, which is close to the Turkish border, for the last two days. They have also been evacuating the Turkmen villages located between Tartus and Homs for the last month.
‘Regime burning forests’
“The villages of Karaman, Yamada, Ablaklı, Murtlu and Kulcuk have been under particularly heavy bombardment for the last two days. They have killed hundreds of Turkmens over the last month,” Molla said. He said the regime had also been burning the forests in the border area. “There are around 27 Turkmen villages in this area and these people are either being killed or forced to leave their villages. We are experiencing a disaster,” Molla said.