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 flight reported engine failure and made an emergency landing at Istanbul's Ataturk airport.
Meeting will explore Kurdish involvement in establishing peace across Middle East
Emotional centenary service marks the campaign that brought about the emergence of modern Turkey, Australia and New Zealand
The commemoration events of the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli have begun with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosting more than 17 heads of state with representatives from more than 90 countries attending the event.
Russian and French presidents attend events in Armenian capital on the 100th anniversary of the 1915 events in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.
Friday’s dailies cover centenary commemorations for the Battle of Canakkale plus President Erdogan's remarks over the 1915 incident in the Ottoman Empire
Volkan Bozir, the Turkish EU Minister and Chief negotiator said that historical incidents should not be used as political tools
Forensic probe reveals traces of a drug to treat schizophrenia in Tajik dissident Umarali Kuvatov's system, who was shot dead in Istanbul late March.
Joint statement by Turkish and Australian PMs says Turkey plays 'crucial role' in fight against ISIL.
Turkey has summoned its ambassador to Austria hours after the Austrian parliament described the 1915 events as "genocide," the Turkish Foreign Ministry says.
Turkey deported 1,300 people and issued exclusion bans against 12,800 in bid to curb foreign nationals joining Daesh, officials say.
We are happy to see that the aerial operations on Yemen by Saudi Arabia have ended. Military goals appear to have been reached," Erdogan told a joint press conference
Turkish Foreign Ministry criticizes court's 'arbitrary' decision.
Iraqi President Fuad Masum, along with a high-level governmental delegation, will discuss regional and international developments in Ankara.
Wednesday’s dailies cover President Erdogan's statement on 5G internet technology plus an Egyptian court verdict which sentenced ousted president Mohamed Morsi to 20 years in jail for protester deaths.
Parents and their children from England who were allegedly trying to cross into Syria detained in Turkish capital.