World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey has begun handing out food and other humanitarian aid to Syrians right on their common border as the worsening conflict in Syria makes aid distribution there increasingly difficult, Turkey's disaster and emergency body said on Saturday.
The move coincides with a sharp increase in the number of Syrians fleeing the fighting in the 17-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, taking the total in Turkey to nearly 70,000 and challenging its ability to cope.
The humanitarian situation in Syria has deteriorated as fighting escalates, cutting off civilians from food supplies, health care and other assistance, aid agencies say.
"The distribution of humanitarian aid by our country right on the border with Syria has begun," Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) said in a statement.
Turkey has told the United Nations of the new practice and has opened a centre in its southeastern town of Gaziantep to receive international aid, AFAD said, adding that it needed dried, tinned and baby food, bedding and personal hygiene items.
The Turkish Red Crescent has also set up sites at four places on the border with Syria to receive local donations.
More than 170,000 Syrians have been registered in neighbouring countries - Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey - according to the U.N. refugee agency.
Some 1.2 million people are uprooted within Syria, many staying in schools or other public buildings, according to the U.N. regional humanitarian relief coordinator.
There has been a diarrhoea outbreak among residents of Rural Damascus province because the water supply has been contaminated by sewage, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.
The number of Syrians in Turkey has risen sharply from 44,000 at the end of July, and Ankara is concerned there may be a flood of refugees from the major northern city of Aleppo as the conflict there intensifies.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday welcomed the United Nations' appointment of Lakhdar Brahimi as the new international mediator on Syria but said he would need consensus in the U.N. Security Council if his mission was to succeed.
Turkey is setting up four new refugee camps to cope with the influx: two in Gaziantep, one in Kahramanmaras and one in Osmaniye. It already has eight tent cities - five in Hatay, two in Sanliurfa and one in Gaziantep - and a camp of prefabricated housing for 12,000 people in Kilis province.
Setting up the new camps would bring the cost of caring for the refugees to around 300 million Turkish lira ($167 million), AFAD said.
The authorities said six guns (two pistols, two rifles and two guns for firing blanks) were seized in morning operations on several addresses.
General Staff says that details of how Kurdish peshmerga forces would cross through the country to Syria have not been released.
Turkish Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Tanju Bilgic says Greek foreign minister's "logic" is wrong and undermining the Cyprus peace talks.
Numan Kurtulmus says Islamic world still suffering from 'unequal' postwar system
"We have had no cases of Ebola in our country," the Director General of Turkey’s Health for Border and Coastal Areas says.
Chemical, nuclear and radiology team dispatched to examine mystery packages as Turkish police also called to Belgian Consulate and UK office increases security measures.
Militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) set fire to two vehicles and a cabin at the plant in Kagizman district, and shot at soldiers who returned fire
22-year-old man dies after being hit by falling construction materials
Muslims in Istanbul to perform a funeral prayer in absentia following Friday prayer in Fatih Mosque for Ghulam Azam
Analysts examine new laws aimed at bringing undocumented workers out from the shadowy world of black-market labor.
Newspapers in Turkey have covered President Erdogan’s reaction to the US military’s help to Kurdish fighters in Kobani.
"Strong and balanced public finance affirmatively differentiates Turkey from other countries," the minister said
The Malaysia Airports Holding used its pre-emptive rights to buy an additional 40 percent stake in Turkey's Sabiha Gokcen Airport, it was announced.
The US acted despite opposition from Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says, adding "I told him (Obama) Kobani is not currently a strategic place for you, if anything it is strategic for us"
At least 1 person injured in explosion in hospital’s medical waste section in Turkey’s capital, Ankara
The first and only Chinese-Turkish television channel CTV has begun broadcasting films, documentaries and Chinese cultural and traditional programs to promote Chinese economy, tradition and popular culture.