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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs