Syrian refugees in Turkey near 12,000

Turkish Red Crescent has established thousands of temporary shelters along the border to help accomodate the large inflow of Syrian refugees.

The number of Syrians sheltering in Turkey  has approached 12,000 after some 1500 refugees poured across the  border on Thursday and Friday, officials said.

The new exodus was triggered on Thursday morning when Syrian  troops backed by tanks entered a border zone where thousands  fleeing a bloody crackdown on anti-regime protesters were camping,  hesitant to cross to Turkey.

Turkey’s emergency situations agency said on Friday that 1578  Syrians had crossed into Turkish territory, bringing the total  number to 11,739.

Fifty people, including 15 with gunshot wounds, remain in  hospital, the statement said.

The Turkish Red Crescent has erected several tent cities in the  border province of Hatay to shelter the refugees.

Turkish authorities continue to provide food to those who remain  camping on the other side of the border, the statement said.

Crammed into a narrow strip along the Turkish frontier, the  displaced Syrians have braved squalid conditions, sleeping rough or  in makeshift shelters of branches and plastic sheets, surviving on  scarce food and water.

They have hesitated to cross to Turkey, gripped by uncertainty  over a future on foreign soil and wary of leaving their property  behind.

Turkish authorities have reportedly assured them they can cross  over if they felt threatened.

Sky News