Turkey opening arms to Syrian refugees

June 11, 2011 at 12:29 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, June 11 (UPI) -- Turkey says it is considering opening a buffer zone on its border to hold the increasing number of refugees fleeing Syria.

As many as 3,000 refugees had crossed into Turkey's Hatay province Friday, and more were expected over the weekend, RIA Novosti reported.

More than 100 Syrians were being treated at hospitals in Hatay. Human-rights groups have said more than 1,000 people have died since March, when demonstrations against the 41-year rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad began.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Thursday criticized Damascus for taking the issue "very lightly."

"We can't close our door to those people who run away for their lives, but how long is it going to be like this?" Erdogan said in a Today's Zaman report.

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