Qamishli, Syria− Five Syrian Kurds were shot dead near the Turkish borders while trying to cross into Turkey on Monday. They were reportedly heading from the city of Qamishli, northeast Syria, to Turkey.
Zahir Mulla and Muhammad Ahmad were killed along with other three men −whose identities couldn’t be identified− when Turkish border guards opened fire against them.
Others who accompanied the victims were hardly beaten by the Turkish guards, sources said.
“My son was severely beaten by the Turkish border guards while trying to enter Turkey,” father of 32-year-old Jiwan told ARA News. “He wasn’t provided with any first aid, and he is in a coma at the moment.”
Since the considerable escalation of violence in northeastern Syria, the Turkish authorities fear increasing numbers of displaced people who cross the borders illegally into Turkey looking for shelter.
The Syria-Turkish borders −estimated with 800km− was continuously violated as many Syrians who escaped war resorted to smugglers to cross into Turkey after the latter’s authorities tightened security at the borders. The recent clashes between Syria rebels and al-Qaeda affiliated fighters in the north forced thousands of civilians to leave their areas and look for safe haven in Turkey.
Suleiman is a smuggler who is being paid for helping people cross into Turkey illegally. He told ARA News that dozens of Syrians cross the borders everyday with his guidance and help.
“It costs around 15,000 SP ($100) per passenger. the amount is a compensation for our guidance,” Suleiman said, adding that those using his help are rarely captured by the Turkish border guards.
A Turkish customs officer stated in an interview with ARA News that tightening security at the borders was the only option to prevent illegal entrance to Turkey.
“The Turkish guards are doing their duty by protecting their country’s borders, especially with Syria where many violations have been recorded,” he said, preferring to stay anonymous. “The border guards open fire only in specific cases, and they resort to physical punishment only when an illegal passenger tries to resist.”
He added that many arms smugglers have been captured at the Turkish-Syrian borders recently, “which necessitated the authorities to tighten security”.
Reporting by: Ivana Halim
Source: ARA News
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