Turkey provides refuge for Turkmen fleeing home in Syria


Almost our 1,500 Turkmen have arrived in Turkey, says governor of southern Hatay province

HATAY, Turkey  – The Turkish governor of the southern province of Hatay, Ercan Topaca said that they have taken measures for Turkmen who fled their homes Saturday following clashes in Syria.

Syria’s Bayir Bucak area has witnessed mass displacement of Turkmen who fled their homes Saturday following attacks by Syrian and Russian forces, local sources told Anadolu Agency.

“As of today, almost 1,500 Turkmen brothers are within Turkish borders. We have taken measures to satisfy their needs as the weather is getting colder,” Topaca – speaking to an Anadolu Agency correspondent in Hatay’s Yayladagi district – stated late Saturday.

“575 tents, 4,200 blankets, medical equipment, 20,000 canned goods, 2,000 ready-made food kits were sent today. Tomorrow we will provide hot meals as well”, Topaca added.

He stated that tent cities were being set up for those who wanted to enter into Turkey.

“We are trying to determine how many people will come to Turkey. Almost 15 Turkmen villages were in the zone where the clashes happened. Our Turkmen brothers – living close to clashes – arrived to the tent cities. If the clashes become intense in upcoming days, we think that more people will come and we are making plans for their migration,” Turkish governor added.

“17 injured people have arrived as of yesterday [Friday],” Topaca remarked.

Turkmen are a Turkic ethnic group based largely in Syria and Iraq, where they live alongside large Arab and Kurdish populations. The Turkmen community, which includes both Sunni and Shia Muslims, shares close cultural ties with the Turkish people.

Syria’s devastating civil war, now in its fifth year, has left at least 250,000 people dead, according to the UN.