According to the United Nations, Turkey is facing one of the biggest refugee crises of recent years, because of the thousands of people fleeing ISIL extremists in Syria.
Euronews correspondent Bora Bayraktar is in the the town of Suruç on the Turkey-Syria border, and was able to tell us what exactly has been happening.
Nezahat Sevim, euronews, Lyon:
“Bora, what’s the latest situation at the border? What are people fleeing from Syria telling you?”
Bora Bayraktar, Suruç:
“What strikes me here is the huge number of women and children. I think it’s because the Syrian Kurdish men wanted to stay in Kobani (in northern Syria) to fight ISIL. When we talked to a few Kurdish men who crossed into Turkey, they were thinking of their country, their friends over there. They are also worried about the people who have already been accommodated and others who are seeking shelter here in Turkey. Therefore, the people we spoke to are nervous.”
“The US has recently hit ISIL targets in Raqqa (in the north of Syria) with airstrikes. Do you think this operation will have an impact on the influx of refugees towards Turkey?”
“We shouldn’t expect a direct influx of refugees just because of the operation in the region. This region is closer to Iraq than to Turkey. Turkey is already home to hundreds of thousands of Syrians who came from that region. And the routes near the Turkish border are either closed or under the control of ISIL. So it’s quite difficult for those in the Raqqa region to reach Turkish soil. I think the refugees will choose to go to Iraq or Jordan rather than Turkey. There is no expectation of a large influx of refugees particularly from that region.”
“Let me ask you this Bora, we saw clashes between police and local people on the border. Why was that?”
“The Turkish police didn’t move against those coming from Syria. The intervention was against those who were already in Turkey and wanted to cross into Syria to fight ISIL. Police didn’t allow Kurdish youths to cross. And it caused tension. This was the reason.”