Turkey Arrests 274 Kobane Refugees Fleeing Islamic State Attack
Turkish security forces have arrested and detained more than 200 Syrians refugees — including young children — fleeing the besieged border town of Kobane, according to their family members, lawyers, and local politicians.
Two hundred and seventy-four Syrians, including a large number of woman — one pregnant — and minors have been held inside a single large room at a police station on the outskirts of Suruc in Sanliurfa province since October 5, Meral Danis Bestas, executive Committee member with the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said Friday after visiting the detainees along with Sanliurfa Bar Association President Ali Fuat Bucak and Serhat Eren of the Kurdistan Lawyer’s Association.
The refugees were fleeing Kobane, also known by its Arabic name Ayn al-Arab, after Islamic State (IS) jihadists launched a major offensive on the majority Kurdish town last month. Authorities have given no indication of when they would be released, Bestas (pictured above) told VICE News after emerging from the police station and speaking with waiting families, and 150 of the detainees are now on hunger strike.