Thousands of Syrians in Turkey return home after quakes
Ankara, Mar 12 (EFE).- Some 56,000 Syrians living in Turkey have returned to their country voluntarily after the February 6 devastating earthquakes that rocked southern Turkey and northern Syria, the Turkish defense ministry said Sunday.
According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, national defense minister Hulusi Akar said control over the border with Syria has been tightened since the powerful quakes, dismissing claims that Syrian refugees have been flocking to the Eurasian country.
At least 47,975 people have died in Turkey following the magnitude 7.8 and 7.6 earthquakes, the Turkish disaster management agency Afad estimated on Saturday. In Syria, the death toll stood at 6,278.
About 3.5 million Syrians reside in Turkey, with around 1.5 million in the quake-hit areas.
Thirteen million people lived in the quake-hit regions of southern Turkey before the tremors and it is estimated that 2.5 million fled the most affected areas, including Syrian citizens. EFE