Syrian refugees in Turkey surpass 100,000

Published 23.10.2012 12:40
Updated 23.10.2012 12:42

With the number of Syrian refugees flocking to Turkey surpassing the 100,000 figure, the state has decided to set up additional camps to accommodate the continuing influx. The present goal is to reach at least an increased 16,000 person capacity with new camps in Akçakale, Nizip and Harran.

When the number of refugees coming in from Syria reached the 100,000 psychological threshold, the Prime Ministry decided to take further action, bringing new measures to the table. As a result, the Prime Ministry reached a decision to set up additional camps in order to accommodate the consistent influx of Syria nationals.

Three new camps, named the Akçakale 2, Nizip 2 and Harran will soon be ready to accommodate additional refugees. The new camp to be set up in Akçakale will be able to accommodate 11,000 and the second Nizip camp is planned for 5,000, which means these two new camps alone will be able to accommodate an additional 16,000 people. As for the camp in Harran, which will be set up from containers previously used to accommodate victims of the Van earthquake, the full capacity the container camp will be able to accommodate has yet to be determined. However, prime ministry sources do state that when all three camps are set up in total they will be able to accommodate an additional 30,000 people.


Due to the increasing conflict in Syria of late, the number of Syrian nationals seeking refuge in Turkey has reached 101,834. In the past, the 100,000 figure had been announced as being Turkey's psychological threshold when it comes to accepting Syrian refugees. Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had stated, "If the number of refugees surpasses 100,000 then we should be able to shelter them within Syria. The UN could set up camps."

In response to a question posed last week on the issue, Prime Minister Erdoğan stated, "The 100,000 figure is truly a threshold for us, however as we have always said we could surpass the 100,000 number. As you know, during the Saddam era, we hosted 750,000 Peshmarga from Northern Iraq. We will evaluate what needs to be done in light of this tyranny in Syria and will take whatever steps necessary. We will continue to stand by our oppressed brothers in Syria," stated the Prime Minister.

Turkey has spent nearly 400 million TL on providing shelter for Syrian refugees. According to the most recent figures released by the Prime Ministry, Turkey has spent a total 367 million TL to accommodate Syrian refugees. This figure may reach 400 million Turkish liras by next month.

At present, there are 101,834 Syria refugees staying in camps set up in seven provinces in Turkey. In total, 144,938 Syria refugees have entered Turkey, however 43,104 later returned to their countries for various reasons.

Both the tent and container camps provide refugees with shelter, food, medical services, security, social activities, education, religious services and translation, communication and banking services. The camps in Turkey contain schools, a mosque, trade, police and health centers, a press briefing unit, children's play areas, television viewing units and are equipped with water depots, treatment facilities, power distribution units and generators.


According to Prime Ministry data, the distribution of Syrian refuges in Turkey is as follows: 12,081 in Hatay, Gaziantep's three tent camps accommodate a total 17,569 people with the İslahiye camp's 7,744, Karkamış's 6,769 and Nizip's 3,066. There are 12,803 refugees staying in Kilis, Şanlıurfa accommodates 31,252, Kahramanmaraş is sheltering 15,062 people, Osmaniye holds 8,132 and in Adıyaman there are a total 4,227 Syrian refugees.

This is a translation of an article originally written by Yahya Bostan.

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