World Bulletin / News Desk
Thousands of Syrian refugees are stuck on the Turkish border while the authorities struggle to process a growing influx that could be swelled further by Syrian air and ground bombardment of a nearby town.
Syrian opposition activists said some 10,000 refugees had been stranded for a week on the Syrian side of the frontier adjacent to the southeastern Turkish province of Kilis, the main route into Turkey from the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
A Syrian jet bombed the town of Azaz, 3 km (2 miles) from the border, early on Monday, prompting some of those who had not already fled to pack their bags, a Reuters witness said.
Azaz is notionally rebel-held but often comes under artillery fire at night from a nearby military airport. Half the population of around 70,000 has already fled, residents say.
"We haven't stopped taking the Syrians but we are doing this more slowly due to security concerns ... Some people are entering Turkey then going back and coming back again," an official from Turkey's AFAD disaster agency told Reuters.
"We are trying to distribute aid to those on the other side of the border. On Saturday their numbers were around 7,000-8,000," he said, asking not to be named.
Turkey already hosts more than 80,000 Syrians who have fled the 17-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad and the U.N. refugee agency says the figure could reach 200,000.
Ankara fears a mass influx similar to the flight of half a million Iraqi Kurds into Turkey after the 1991 Gulf War.
No international assistance
Syrian opposition activists say bottlenecks at the Turkish border are discouraging people under fire from Assad's forces in Aleppo and elsewhere from fleeing, leaving them in grave danger.
Turkey has repeatedly complained it is not receiving international assistance for the refugees and has pushed for the creation of a foreign-protected "safe zone" inside Syria to try to help civilians on the other side of the border.
The plan met with little enthusiasm from world powers at a U.N. Security Council meeting on Thursday.
Ankara will promote the idea again at the U.N. General Assembly this month but opposition from veto-wielding Russia and China means there is little chance of securing a Security Council mandate for such action, which would require no-fly zones patrolled by foreign aircraft to be credible.
In China, the People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, said on Monday the Turkish proposal would not help resolve Syria's humanitarian crisis.
The head of the Turkish Red Crescent, Ahmet Lutfi Akar, last week endorsed the buffer zone idea and said the agency would in any case push more assistance to the Syrian side of the border.
"We are distributing aid through four transfer points at the moment. We can set up camps there or we can provide these services in their own homes. These options are being discussed," he told Turkish television during a visit to refugee camps in Turkey's Hatay province on Friday.
The programme put emphasis on a strong economy, envisaging a monetary policy which stepped up the struggle against inflation but also supported growth and employment
Erdogan and Davutoglu, who was appointed prime minister last week, have both made clear that their efforts to curb Gulen's influence will continue in their new roles
Amasya MP Mehmet Naci Bostanci is elected ruling AK Party's new parliamentary group deputy chairman.
Turkish Aerospace Industries will deliver last four of modernized F-16 fighters to Pakistan on Tuesday.
Turkey's President Erdogan made his first foreign visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as president on Monday.
Ali Babacan will retain overall responsibility for the economy in the new cabinet, government spokesman Bulent Arinc said
Monday's newspapers cover German weekly Der Spiegel’s claims on foreign spying on Turkey, Turkish intelligence service’s purchase of a lie detector and ongoing construction works of Turkey’s Eurasia Tunnel Project.
Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will discuss the issue of spying claims on Turjey with American and German leaders at the upcoming NATO summit and U.N. general assembly.
More than 30 police officials are sought in connection with alleged illegal wiretapping in Istanbul and other cities across Turkey.
These revelations come just one week after it was revealed that Germany had also been spying on fellow NATO-member Turkey.
Erdogan's first week as president will see him visit the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Azerbaijan and attend a NATO Summit in Wales.
Ali Babacan, and more recently Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, have been part of a well-respected economics team that has helped steer Turkey through a decade of growth and stability.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Assad's "divisive" administration in Syria has given rise to the Sunni militant group, Islamic State
Turkey's Foreign Ministry says concerned of Russian activity in Ukraine's east, calls on parties to act in common sense
Twenty-thousand Turkish vessels will set sail on Monday as the country's fishing season starts in earnest.
International credit rating agency Moody's downgrades long-term deposit rating of Bank Asya citing deteriorating fundamentals and deposit volatility