Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, is due to travel to Turkey on Monday in an effort to gain Ankara’s help in slowing the tide of refugees entering the European Union. On the eve of her visit, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus, said that his nation was now hosting three million refugees, 2.5 million of them Syrian. He said that, though it had reached its limits, Turkey would ultimately take more people because “in the end, these people have nowhere else to go”.
However, as darkness fell on Sunday Turkey had yet to open its Bab al-Salam border crossing to northern Aleppo province, where the United Nations estimates that 35,000 people are “newly displaced”. Though the UN has said that only 2,500 to 3,000 people remained at the border crossing itself, tens of thousands more were said to have sought shelter in nearby towns and camps that were bursting at the seams even before the latest influx.