Turkey closes its borders to fleeing Syrians (VIDEO)

Syrian refugees rest at the Turkish Red Crescent's second camp in the Yayladagi district of Hatay, two kilometers from the Syrian border, on June 19, 2011. Turkey has begun extending aid across its border with Syria to help people who have massed there fleeing unrest, the emergency situations agency said on June 19.
Mustafa Ozer

HACIPASA, Turkey—Turkish authorities closed their borders Friday to fleeing Syrian refugees after receiving more than 78,000 since the beginning of the conflict. The total number of Syrians seeking refuge in neighboring countries this week surpassed 200,000, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

This figure has already far surpassed the expectations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who expected no more than 185,000 by the end of the year. More than 30,000 crossed into Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon this week alone.
The swelling numbers have been particularly hard on Turkish authorities and residents, who have received the highest number of registered Syrian refugees of any country, with thousands more crossing illegally to search for housing in border towns.
“The local economy is suffering,” said Ahmed Kaya, a resident of Antakya on the Syrian border. “Housing prices have doubled with so many Syrian families looking for a place to live. Tourism is down. Business is down. I know several businessmen who have gone bankrupt already since the start of the Syrian crisis.”
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