Thursday, July 26, 2012

37 refugees return to Syria following involvement in protests

Thirty-seven Syrian refugees who were involved in violent riots at a refugee camp in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, near the Syrian border, have returned to Syria with their families on Thursday.
Four Syrian refugees and four Turkish security officials were hurt on Sunday when rioting broke out at a refugee camp in the İslahiye district of Gaziantep province. Police later detained 17 Syrian nationals who were suspected of organizing the riots.
District Governor Osman Beyazyıldız told the press on Thursday that 37 men involved in the riots had requested to be returned to Syria. This request was accepted by refugee camp officials and the men headed back to Syria on Thursday with their families.

Sunday's clashes allegedly erupted when a group of 1,500 or so ethnic Turkmen refugees from Syria arrived in the camp in İslahiye. However, District Governor Beyazyıldız told the press on Monday that he does not think the incidents were caused by the arrival of the Turkmen refugees as similar riots took place simultaneously at two other Syrian refugee camps in Turkey. He added that certain individuals might have wanted to create tension between Turkish officials and Syrian refugees.

More than 43,000 Syrian refugees have been registered in neighboring Turkey. Some refugees have complained about conditions in the camps, including a lack of food.


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