Turkish police have clashed with Syrian refugees at a protest at a camp near the Syrian border with Turkey.
The clashes broke out at the Suleiman Shah refugee camp near the Turkish town of Akcakale on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Camp residents threw rocks at the police forces, while the police attempted to disperse the protesters by using tear gas and water cannons. The refugees said they were protesting poor living conditions in the camps and the protest began after faulty electrics set a tent on fire injuring three people aged 7,18, and 19.
" Residents are angry…The mother of four children living in that tent had been complaining for a long time about electrical problems and nothing was done, and then we had this horrible accident, " one of the refugees said.
She added that living conditions were poor at the Suleiman Shah refugee camp, and sometimes several families have to crowd into one tent together. She also stated that relations between Turkish workers and the refugees were tense. However, a Turkish official said that the protest started when guards turned away around 200 Syrians, who were trying to get into the campsite. According to aid agencies, more than 1 million people have left Syria due to the unrest in the country. Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of Syrian army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence. The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals. Damascus says the West and its regional allies including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting the militants.