Tensions high on Syrian border after deadly clash
ŞANLIURFA - Doğan News Agency
Some 500 people marched toward the Süleymanşah refugee camp which is home to 35,000 Syrian refugees. DHA photoSecurity measures were strengthened May 3 following deadly clashes in the border town of Akçakale as Syrians’ entrance and exit of tent cities in the southeastern cities of Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa were restricted for security reasons until further notice.
Locals displayed Turkish flags on their cars and shops to show their anger. The Akçakale border gate was also partially shut down, with authorities only allowing Turkish citizens to cross into Turkey. Armored vehicles and additional security forces have been deployed inside and around the tent city in Akçakale. One Turkish policeman was killed and 11 were wounded May 2 in a clash on the Syrian border with a group of Syrians who wanted to cross the border without passports.
Late on May 2 a group of Turkish citizens holding Turkish flags and chanting slogans protested the latest violence. Some 500 people marched toward the Süleymanşah refugee camp, which is home to 35,000 Syrian refugees. Police intervened against the group and the demonstrators were peacefully dispersed.
An unknown number also sent messages to locals after the deadly incident, urging them not to be provoked.
Turkey is now sheltering more than 300,000 Syrians, most of them in camps along the 900-kilometer frontier and is struggling to keep up with the influx. The financial cost of Syrian refugees on Turkey has reached to 1.5 billion dollars as of March. The latest incident was a reminder of the strains on neighboring countries as violence from the civil war in Syria, now into its third year, spills across borders.
In October, five Turkish civilians were killed in Akçakale when a mortar bomb fired from Syria landed on their house, prompting Turkey to fire back across the frontier.