News / Middle East

Turkey Shifts Syrian Refugees from Borders

Turkey Shifts Syrian Refugees from Bordersi
|| 0:00:00
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 13, 2012 7:37 PM
Turkey has begun moving some of the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees on its soil away from the border area. United Nations officials, including actress Angelina Jolie, visited one of the refugee camps Thursday. Henry Ridgwell reported from the same camp earlier, and now looks at how the refugee crisis could influence the diplomatic response to the Syrian conflict.
Henry Ridgwell
Turkey has begun moving some of the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees on its soil away from the border area. United Nations officials, including actress Angelina Jolie, visited one of the refugee camps Thursday.

The Kilis camp next to Turkey’s border with Syria is home to almost 12,000 refugees.

The visit by U.N. refugee special envoy and Hollywood star Angelina Jolie put the refugees’ plight back in the headlines - but many residents, like father of four Abu Omer, were skeptical.

He says that he doesn't expect anything from the United Nations. He predicts "nothing will come of it" as U.N. officials "have come here many times but nothing changed.”

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres called on other countries to help.

“Countries like Turkey, like Lebanon, like Jordan, also like Iraq are making an enormous effort," he said. "They are showing enormous solidarity and they deserve also the solidarity with the international community.”

That’s a view shared by Turkey.
 
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, center left, in her role as special envoy for the U. N. refugee agency, and UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres, center right, at the Oncupinar Syrian refugee camp in Kilis, Turkey, September 13, 2012.Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, center left, in her role as special envoy for the U. N. refugee agency, and UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres, center right, at the Oncupinar Syrian refugee camp in Kilis, Turkey, September 13, 2012.
x
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, center left, in her role as special envoy for the U. N. refugee agency, and UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres, center right, at the Oncupinar Syrian refugee camp in Kilis, Turkey, September 13, 2012.
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, center left, in her role as special envoy for the U. N. refugee agency, and UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres, center right, at the Oncupinar Syrian refugee camp in Kilis, Turkey, September 13, 2012.
An estimated 80,000 refugees are living in 10 camps close to the border. Some 30,000 to 40,000 Syrians are believed to be living outside the camps in Turkey, many with relatives or in private rented accommodations in cities like Antakya.

Turkey has begun trying to move those refugees either into the camps or away from the border region.

“Turkey and other neighboring countries, especially Jordan, are not getting enough international assistance to share the burden of this," said Selcuk Unal, a spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry. "We are not asking them to leave the country but local authorities could of course take some steps from time to time to arrange accommodation of these people in order to let all the provinces in Turkey to have a more equal burden share.”

Turkey initially tried to deal with the crisis without outside help, says Turkey specialist Katerina Dalacoura of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

“They have realized that they have bitten off more than they could chew in this particular case. In other words they cannot on their own deal with this problem as they thought they could,” she said.

As Kurds have taken control of much of the northeast of Syria, Dalacoura says the conflict is spilling into Turkey.

“The lack of control from the center, Damascus that is, has led to a flare up of violence within Turkey through the Kurdish areas which have been becoming more of free-for-all for Kurdish activists,” she said.

Syrians are continuing to flee their homes and their country. Amateur footage posted on the Internet, reportedly filmed in Aleppo on Wednesday, shows families fleeing with suitcases as gunfire rings out across the city.

The U.N. estimates a quarter of a million people have fled Syria. Many analysts say that the scale of the exodus could soon force the international community to act. But with military intervention unlikely, there appears little chance the refugees can return home anytime soon.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid