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Turkey's Border War (Dispatch 3)

VICE News visited Suruc to find out the status of the 274 Kurdish prisoners who were detained at the border, only to learn they are being held indefinitely.

by VICE News
Oct 20 2014, 7:45pm

In mid-September, Islamic State militants launched an offensive to seize Kobane, a predominantly Kurdish town in Syria just across the border from Turkey. In the following weeks, Turkey closed its border, leaving thousands of civilians stuck inside the active war zone, trying to get past the tightly controlled crossings.

On October 5, 274 Kurds from Kobane were arrested at the Turkish border and held in a large room at a police station in the Turkish village of Suruc. Authorities have not given the people arrested — including many women and children — a reason for their detention, except to say they are suspected of being members of the YPG, the Kurdish fighters defending Kobane from the Islamic State.

VICE News visited Suruc to find out the status of the prisoners and when they would be released, only to learn they are being held indefinitely. We spoke via video chat with a prisoner who described the conditions in the facility, and visited his family to discuss their unknown destiny.

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