Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said some 130,000 Syrian refugees have entered Turkey in the past four days, warning that the number could rise further as the Islamic State (IS) press ahead with an onslaught on Kobane, which is directly across from Sanliurfa’s Suruc district. However, the unofficial figures suggest a higher number of 200,000, including people who crossed during the first days of the clashes between Syrian Kurds from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the jihadists. With the latest exodus, the number of the total Syrians who have crossed into Turkey has reached 1,570,000, figures show.
“I hope that we are not faced with a more populous refugee wave, but if we are, we have taken our precautions,” Kurtulmus said Sept. 22. “A refugee wave that can be expressed by hundreds of thousands is a possibility.”
“The total population of the said [Kobane] region is over 400,000. We think they have been dispersed to other areas within Syria,” Kurtulmus said, adding that they had first planned to accommodate the new influx of Syrians running away from militants on the Syrian side of the border and provide them with humanitarian assistance there, Hurriyet daily news reported.
“But, the humanitarian risks they are facing led us to open the border crossing. I don’t mean the border gate. Those people were allowed into Turkey by cutting the wire fences in eight different points over an area of 30 kilometers. Some 70,000 Syrians entered in less than 24 hours alone,” he said.