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.
Turkish prime minister says suspect in twin attacks on opposition offices had been member of Marxist group
This year, arrangements have been made to hold the art competition in Konya
International training on electricity distribution provided to developing nations
Greece's culture minister Nikos Xydakis has said that both Greece and Turkey must protect their cultural heritage.
Thursday’s dailies covered claims by the prime minister of an opposition 'tacit agreement' against his ruling AK Party.
Project marks Turkey's expansion into international space industry
Cüneyt Yıldız, the district mayor of Gürsu, was taken to Bursa Şevket Yılmaz Training and Research Hospital
Erdogan speaks at joint press conference in Sarajevo with Mladen Ivanic, chairman of three-man Bosnian Presidency.
Staffan de Mistura to meet National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces at unspecified date.
Wednesday’s dailies focused on celebrations of the Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day across Turkey
Turkey has appointed Mehmet Akarca as new Supreme Court of Appeals.
Blasts have been heard at a Kurdish party office in the Turkish city of Adana, injuring two people.
Turkey's presidential spokesman says it is important for death penalty decisions to be rejected by international organizations.
The Turkish Presidential spokesman has said that the Middle East will descend into chaos if ex President Mohammed Morsi is executed.
Monday’s dailies mainly covered Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's major election meeting in Istanbul
The Sixth World Forum on Energy Regulation will be held in Istanbul between May 25 and 28.