ANKARA - Turkey has begun temporarily holding thousands of Syrians on the Syrian side of the border as it struggles to cope with a growing wave of refugees.
At least 2,000 people fleeing violence in Syria were prevented from entering Turkey overnight at one of several unofficial border crossings in the southern province of Hatay, a Turkish official and witnesses said.
"We have run out of space to house these people. We are working to make shelters and when these are completed we will allow these people across," the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
He said the refugees were being handed food and humanitarian aid through the barbed-wire fence that marks much of Turkey's 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria, and through which tens of thousands of Syrians have scrambled over the past 17 months.