News

    Turkey May Create Buffer Zone in Syria for Refugees

    Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)
    Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)
    Dorian Jones

    Turkey's prime minister has warned Damascus that they are considering creating a buffer zone in Syria to stem the stream of Syrian refugees fleeing over the border.

    With thousands of Syrians fleeing into Turkey to escape the violence, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicates Turkey is considering intervening inside Syria to protect those refugees, by establishing a humanitarian buffer zone where civilians would be safe from attack.  

    Erdogan says such a zone is being looked at, but other ideas are also under consideration.  One of his senior ministers said late Thursday that a buffer zone offering protection to civilians fleeing the violence could extend as far as 10 kilometers into Syria.

    During the past few days alone, thousands of refugees have streamed into Turkey from Syria, as the crackdown by government security forces there has moved north, toward the Turkish border.

    New camps to house more than 20,000 people are under construction, but the head of the Turkish Red Crescent estimates that up to 500,000 Syrians could eventually seek sanctuary in Turkey.

    Turkish diplomats have long argued that it is preferable to provide humanitarian relief in Syria, but observers say Ankara has been reluctant to intervene across the border without international support.

    Istanbul is hosting a meeting on April 2 of the Friends of Syria, a forum made up of over 50 countries that will discuss the situation in Syria.

    Prime Minister Erdogan said the meeting will provide an opportunity to coordinate efforts .

    Erdogan said the Istanbul meeting will bring Arab League members and other countries together to work out a plan on what to do.

    The prime minister said he is waiting to see a U.N. Security Council resolution designed to be acceptable to Russia.  Previous Chinese and Russian vetoes have hampered Western and Arab-backed diplomatic action over Syria in the United Nations.

    A Syrian refugee buffer zone is expected to be discussed at the Friends of Syria meeting next month.  Once a close ally of Damascus, Ankara now is taking a leading role in opposing the Assad government's ongoing crackdown on dissent.

    In a further sign of Ankara's growing concern, it has urged all Turkish citizens to leave Syria.  Mr. Erdogan said he may recall his ambassador to Damascus.

    Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
    Middle East Voices
    . Follow our Middle East reports on
    Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.
    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora