World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey is prepared for a possible wave of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees escaping ISIL threat, said Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus on Monday.
Kurtulmus was speaking after a symposium on Turkish-Japan relations at the center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM) - an Ankara-based think tank.
He announced that the latest figure of more than 130,000 Syrian refugees have crossed into Turkish territories since Friday seeking shelter from ISIL attacks in the Kurdish city of Kobani.
"The total population of the said [Kobani] region is over 400,000. We think they have been dispersed to other areas within Syria," said the minister.
The Turkish minister said they had first planned to accommodate the new influx of Syrians running away from ISIL terror on the Syrian side of the border and provide them with humanitarian assistance there.
"But, the humanitarian risks they are facing led us to open the border crossing. I don't mean the border gate. Those people were allowed into Turkey by cutting the wire fences in eight different points in an area of 30 kilometers. Only 70,000 of the Syrians entered in less than 24 hours," he said.
Kurtulmus said an intense refugee flow of hundreds of thousands is possible, for which he argued Turkey is ready.
"All details have been worked out regarding a possible transfer of Syrian refugees to a further and safer location, if necessary," he added.
He said some of the refugees were reunited with their families, and others were sheltered at a local boarding school and in tents that were newly set up in the school yard.
Kurtulmus added that some were also transferred to other tent cities and refugee camps in more central regions in Turkey.
The minister maintained that they were also prepared for the worst case scenario at the meeting they held on Thursday night, before opening the border crossing.
"The worst scenario is if we encounter a wave of hundreds of thousands of refugees. We have made all related preparations, which includes the logistics support, the aids to be supplied by AFAD, and measures to guarantee the refugees' safety," he said.
"As for the Kobani area, we are talking about a vast region that stretches out to 30 kilometers from our border. Generally, the border region of 350 to 400 kilometers is suffering from ISIL threats."
The minister added that the flow of refugees is below the expected figure for now.
He also warned all against any political demonstration against the Kurds coming from Syria's Kobani or any act aiming to obstruct aid efforts in the region.
Kurtulmus said he hopes for an immediate end to the attacks and a return of the displaced people, which he says is only possible if the political conditions in Syria improve.
Turkey opened the frontier Friday to cope with a rush of Kurdish civilians fearing an attack on the Syrian border town of Ayn al-Arab, known as Kobani in Kurdish, in the Raqqa province.
The Syrian civilians seeking shelter from the ISIL assault on their villages are being registered at a coordination center set up by Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Presidency upon entry to Turkey.
Syrians are entering Turkey via registration center
Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) reported on Monday that Syrian refugees are now entering Turkey via the registration center in Yumurtalik, in the southeastern province of Adana, Turkey.
In a written statement AFAD says that intensive migration - arising from Syrian Civil War - of refugees into Turkey goes on.
In addition AFAD also pointed out, "The border is not closed. Passages are being carried out by the registration center established under coordination of AFAD in Yumurtalik province in a controlled way. Moreover AFAD has studied the every scenario on risk analysis reports and this was one of the scenarios. We are ready for any case."Last Mod: 22 Eylül 2014, 16:03