Turkey has started building a new camp site for 20,000 Syrian refugees in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa, Turkish officials said Wednesday, after some 700 more crossed the border overnight.
ANKARA- Meanwhile, workers in Sanliurfa have already laid plastic pipes for the infrastructure of the camp near the halfway point of Turkey's 910-kilometre (560-mile) border with Syria, according to a local governor quoted by Anatolia news agency.
"Our government is meticulous about the issue and we are consistently in touch with Ankara," governor of Sanliurfa Celalettin Guvenc told Anatolia. "We are making preparations for any scenario," he added.
Over the last month, Turkey has seen an increased influx of Syrians crossing the border in their hundreds every day to flee the violence caused by the crackdown on dissent by Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Some 700 had crossed into Turkey's Hatay province, at the western end of the border, since late Tuesday, a government official told AFP on condition of anonymity. With the latest arrivals, the number of Syrian refugees in Hatay stands at around 13,600, the official said.
The refugees are currently settled in tent camps in Hatay, but Turkish officials are concerned that the current arrangements will be inadequate.
Last Thursday, Turkish foreign ministry officials announced that Turkey was establishing a "container city" in Kilis, between Hatay and Sanliurfa.
The government initially plans to transfer some 10,000 refugees from Hatay camps to the container city which will be made up of prefabricated houses.
The latest influx came as Syrian troops overrran the northwestern city of Idlib two weeks after storm the Baba Amr neighbourhood of the central city of Homs, where hundreds of people died.
Turkey broke its former alliance with Damascus over the regime's brutal crackdown which has left some 8,500 people dead according to monitoring groups.
Hatay is also a base for the rebel Free Syrian Army, comprising deserters from Assad's forces.