UN refugee agency urges Turkey to open borders to Syrians
GENEVA – Reuters
This photo shows a temporary refugee camp for displaced Syrians in northern Syria, near Bab al-Salameh border crossing with Turkey, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. AP via IHHThe United Nations called on Turkey on Feb. 9 to open its borders to thousands of desperate Syrian refugees fleeing Aleppo, in line with its international obligations to protect people fleeing conflict or persecution.
William Spindler, spokesman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said the agency understood the concern of Turkish authorities about “possible large influxes” into the country, already hosting more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees.
“Turkey has also allowed a number of vulnerable and wounded people in Turkey. However, many people are not being allowed to cross the border. We are asking Turkey to open its border to all civilians in Syria fleeing danger in need of international protection as they have done,” Spindler told a news briefing.
On the same day, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said that some 70,000 Syrian refugees could reach the Turkish border if the military campaign there continues at this intensity, adding that Turkey will not shut its gates to the refugees.