News / Middle East

Refugee Crisis Mounts in Turkey as Syrian Violence Escalates

A Syrian refugee waits for medical assistance on a bed in a field hospital set up by the Turkish Health Ministry in a camp in Yayladagi ,Turkey, near the Syrian border, Sunday, June 12, 2011.
A Syrian refugee waits for medical assistance on a bed in a field hospital set up by the Turkish Health Ministry in a camp in Yayladagi ,Turkey, near the Syrian border, Sunday, June 12, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
Henry Ridgwell

As Syrian security forces move in to the besieged town of Jisr al-Shughour, thousands of refugees are fleeing across the Turkish border.  More camps are being set up to house the new arrivals.  Many of the refugees are in desperate need of medical help.

The emergency ward at Antakya hospital is about to receive its latest casualty from Syria.  It is a young girl who has fallen sick and was brought to the Turkish border by her desperate mother, who is also pregnant.

The ambulance driver says the violence in Syria means hospitals there are either full with the injured, or the journey is too hazardous.

The clashes in and around the northern Syrian town of Jisr al-Shughour have forced thousands to flee.  Many of them have recorded the horrifying scenes on cellphones and cameras.


In the border village of Harabjoz, people have set up tents as they wait to cross into Turkey.  One refugee, who did not give his name, described the conditions they are facing. “There is no milk for the children," he says.  “We bought some but we have run out.  They are targeting homes and yesterday gunmen targeted us.  All these people will not survive because they burned all their crops,” he says. “Now it's become sectarian for sure," he said.

A spokesman for the United Nations' refugee agency, Metin Corabatir, has warned of a growing crisis.  "The latest figures UNHCR received from the border is 5051 who fled from Syria because of violence and persecution in this country," he said.

Witnesses believe the true figure could be double that number - including those who have crossed undetected.

The refugees are taken to camps like the one in the town of Yayladagi. It’s housed in a disused tobacco factory - and heavily protected.

As we tried to speak to refugees through the fence, police quickly stepped in our way.  At the entrance, we found Turkish families trying to get inside to see their Syrian relatives.  The Turkish authorities refuse to let them enter.

Yasar Selcuk is trying to see his nephews. “My relatives are from the villages around Latakia,” he said. “These are poor unarmed people, they are not armed people who would do anything against the government, they are mostly women, children and old people.”

Turkey has warned it may need international help to deal with the refugee crisis.  As more and more Syrians flee their country, a fuller picture is slowly emerging of the violent chaos its people are facing.

Watch a related report by Henry Ridgwell:

Discuss this story and others on VOA forums

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid