Over 7,000 refugees from Bayırbucak take shelter in Turkey in a week
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULFeb 06, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Feb 06, 2016 12:00 am
The flow of refugees from the Bayırbucak region of northwestern Syria crossing the Turkish border has continued after intensified offensives by Russian-backed regime forces both on the ground and in the air, with the amount of people streaming into Turkey surpassing 7,000 on Friday.
Syrian Turkmens and Arabs have received transportation to Turkey's Yayladağı border crossing in Hatay province since last weekend and been sent to several refugee camps built by the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) in surrounding provinces. According to a report in Yeni Şafak daily, 900 people were sent to the Güveççi camp in Hatay and 1,500 were sent to a camp located in the Suruç district of southeastern Şanlıurfa province.
Travelling through Pulluyazı, a village near the border town of Yayladağı, 2,334 of the refugees are children and 57 people needing urgent medical care were also treated.
Russia has been bombing villages in the Bayırbucak area to bolster the Damascus regime, an ally of the country since well before the war erupted. After the emergence of the Syrian uprising in 2011 and the ensuing civil war, Turkmens have sided with moderate opposition forces against the regime. The Turkmens are a Turkic ethnicity and Turkey has been particularly angered by Russia targeting them.
AFAD, working in collaboration with the Health Ministry, Gendarmerie General Command, Turkish Red Crescent and other institutions, has provided over TL 500 million ($169 million) in humanitarian aid to Bayırbucak Turkmens, and says it is committed to continue providing support for Turkmens seeking refuge in Turkey.
The Turkmens inhabit rural towns in a province traditionally seen as a stronghold of the regime and considered relatively safe until a military offensive over the last two months, including 300 air raids, unsettled the area.
Most of Syria's pre-war population has been forced out of their homes with 5 million as refugees and 6.5 million displaced in the country.