Turkey experiences major refugee influx

More than 20,000 of Syria's refugees have arrived in Turkey since the start of the year in the biggest influx since early 2013, says UNHCR spokesperson.

More than 20,000 of Syria's refugees have arrived in Turkey since the start of the year in the biggest influx since early 2013, says UNHCR spokesperson.

GENEVA - The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Tuesday that more than 20,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in Turkey since the start of the year, in the biggest influx since early 2013.

"Over recent days, more than 500 persons have been arriving daily across official crossing points - sometimes as many as 1,000-2,000 daily," said Melissa Fleming, spokesperson of UNHCR's chief.

"This new influx appears to be spurred, in part, by the upsurge in fighting reported across the border in northern Syria, particularly in and around Aleppo, and the conflict among opposition groups," Fleming said.

Fleming said that about one-third of the recent influx - some 7,000 persons - have been accommodated in camps. Turkey opened its 22nd camp in early January and authorities are considering opening further new camps to help cope with the new influx.

"The influx of more than 20,000 since the first of January adds to the already existing pressure on Turkey's emergency refugee response," Fleming said.

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