Friday, January 18, 2013

Number of Syrian refugees in Turkey exceeds 157,000

A total of 157,490 Syrian refugees are currently taking shelter in Turkey after fleeing clashes in their country, a Turkish official statement said Friday.
Turkey has set up five tent cities in Hatay, two in Sanliurfa, three in Gaziantep and one each in Osmaniye, Kahramanmaras and Adiyaman, and one container city in Kilis, according to the statement released by the Turkish Prime Ministry’s Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD).
The statement said the Syrians staying in Turkey were provided with lodging, food, health services, security, social activities, education, religious and translation services.
It said that 223,986 Syrians had fled to Turkey so far and 66, 496 of them returned to Syria.
Earlier this week, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said that the monthly cost of taking care of the Syrian refugees in Turkey amounts to about 40 million U.S. dollars, while the total amount of aid that Turkey has received for Syrian refugees from the international community to date is no more than 30 million dollars.
Syria is in a dire situation due to a political crisis which started in March 2011, and has since spilled over and affected neighboring countries including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq with refugees streaming in.