Residents of Turkey’s southern city of Antakya near the Syrian border have expressed anger at the government for allowing the insurgents in Syria to freely travel in the city, Press TV reports.
The Antakya residents demanded that Ankara take necessary measures to deal with the issue of the presence of the insurgents in the city, located in Hatay province.
“Among the Syrian refugees living in Turkey there are terrorists too. They are mostly here to get weapons. We love Syrians and wish the conflict to come to an end soon,” an Antakya resident told Press TV.
Many Syrians have taken refuge in Turkey over the past months of turmoil in Syria.
“They came to us for renting houses. At the beginning they seemed to be normal families, but with time you could see people with weapons in the houses,” said another resident, adding that the insurgents “are getting weapons from the Turkish government.”
“The Turkish government is assisting the insurgents to do this. We don’t want problems but the government is inviting them.”
People in Hatay have held several demonstrations against the anti-Syria policies of the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the past weeks.
There has recently been a rise in arms trafficking from Turkey into Syria.
Tensions have been running high between Damascus and Ankara, with Syria accusing Turkey -- along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar -- of backing a deadly insurgency that has claimed the lives of many Syrians, including security and army personnel, since March 2011.
In an interview with the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet
in July, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Ankara “has supplied all logistic support to the terrorists who have killed our people.”