Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay has denied rumours that the government intends to build a fence along the border with Syria. He insisted that all security procedures have in any case been tightened along the lengthy frontier.
Atalay’s statements came after a meeting in Ankara in which he discussed the conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey and what his government’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) is doing for them. The Deputy Prime Minister said that preparations for winter in the refugee camps in Turkey are ongoing. He noted that around 600,000 Syrians have sought refuge in Turkey, 200,000 of whom live in 21 refugee camps.
The camps provide basic services, such as education and health, said Atalay, and Syrian students can carry on their studies in Turkey. He also said that the Turkish government is providing health services to Syrians living outside the formal camps.
He concluded by pointing out that defensive measures are being put into place to cope with a possible chemical attack along the border. This has been discussed at the highest levels with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.