The border between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Turkey is about 822 kilometres (511 mi) long. It runs across Upper Mesopotamia for some 400 km, crossing the Euphrates reaching as far as the Tigris, following the Southern Turkish stretch of the Baghdad Railway roughly along the 37th parallel between the 37th and 42nd eastern meridians. In the west, it surrounds the Turkish Hatay Province, following the course of the Orontes River and reaching the Mediterranean coast at the foot of Jebel Aqra.
Upper Mesopotamia is the name used for the uplands and great outwash plain of northwestern Iraq, northeastern Syria and southeastern Turkey, in the northern Middle East. After the early Muslim conquests of the mid-7th century, the region has been known by the traditional Arabic name of al-Jazira and the Syriac (Aramaic) variant Gāzartā or Gozarto (ܓܙܪܬܐ). The Euphrates and Tigris rivers transform Mesopotamia into almost an island, as they are joined together at the Shatt al-Arab in the Basra Governorate of Iraq, and their sources in eastern Turkey are in close proximity.
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia. Originating in eastern Turkey, the Euphrates flows through Syria and Iraq to join the Tigris in the Shatt al-Arab, which empties into the Persian Gulf.
The Tigris is the eastern of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq and empties into the Persian Gulf.
The current Syro–Turkish border was established in the Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, based on the Sykes–Picot Agreement between United Kingdom and France in 1916. It was the northern border of the State of Aleppo, the Mandatory Syrian Republic and Syrian Republic, followed by the short-lived United Arab Republic, and since 1961 has been the border between the modern states of Syria and Turkey.
World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.
The Sykes–Picot Agreement was a 1916 secret treaty between the United Kingdom and France, with assent from the Russian Empire and Italy, to define their mutually agreed spheres of influence and control in an eventual partition of the Ottoman Empire. The agreement was based on the premise that the Triple Entente would succeed in defeating the Ottoman Empire during World War I and formed part of a series of secret agreements contemplating its partition. The primary negotiations leading to the agreement occurred between 23 November 1915 and 3 January 1916, on which date the British and French diplomats, Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot, initialled an agreed memorandum. The agreement was ratified by their respective governments on 9 and 16 May 1916.
The State of Aleppo was one of the five states that were established by the French High Commissioner in Syria and Lebanon General Henri Gouraud in the French Mandate of Syria which followed the San Remo conference and the collapse of King Faisal I's short-lived monarchy in Syria.
The approximate line of most of the border was set by the Treaty of Ankara in 1921. It was delimited more precisely between Meidan Ekbis and Nusaybin in 1926, and between Nusaybin and the tripoint with Iraq in 1929.A special case is the Turkish Hatay Province, which remained autonomous until 1923, then became part of Syria as the Sanjak of Alexandretta (Franco-Syrian Treaty of Independence (1936)), briefly became independent as the Hatay State in 1938 before being annexed by Turkey as the Hatay Province in 1939. The new international border was demarcated by a Franco-Turkish commission in 1938/9, with a protocol of 3 May 1939 mentioning 448 boundary markers placed in numerical order, and an additional protocol signed in Antioch on 19 May 1939 mentioning some additional markers. Some further changes were made in an agreement signed in Ankara on 23 June 1939.
The Ankara Agreement (1921) was signed on 20 October 1921 at Ankara between France and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, ending the Franco-Turkish War.
Meidan Ekbis or Maydan Ikbis is a town in northern Syria, administratively part of the Afrin District of Aleppo Governorate, located north of Aleppo. Nearby localities include Afrin and Rajo to the south. The town lies on the Syria–Turkey border and is a stop on the main railroad crossing into Turkey on the Baghdad Railway and Istanbul-Aleppo-Damascus line. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, Meidan Ekbis had a population of 1,302 in the 2004 census. By late July 2013, People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters controlled the town. On February 23rd 2018, the village came under the control of Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army.
Nusaybin is a city in Mardin Province, Turkey. The population of the city is 83,832 as of 2009. The population is predominantly Kurdish, Sunni as well as Yezidi, but a small Assyrian community can also be found.
Because of Turkey's membership in NATO (1952) and OSCE (1973), its border to Syria also forms an outer border of these organisations. Since the Syrian Civil War broke out in 2011, tensions across the border have increased, and there have been a number of clashes; there has also been a substantial influx of refugees across the border to Turkey.Turkey began construction of a border barrier in 2014.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.
The Syrian Civil War is an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict in Syria fought between the Ba'athist Syrian Arab Republic led by President Bashar al-Assad, along with domestic and foreign allies, and various domestic and foreign forces opposing both the Syrian government and each other in varying combinations. The war is currently the 2nd deadliest of the 21st century.
Refugees of the Syrian Civil War or Syrian refugees are citizens and permanent residents of the Syrian Arab Republic, who have fled from their country since the onset of the Syrian Civil War in 2011 and have sought asylum in other parts of the world.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, around 310 Syrians civilians, including 90 children and women, have been killed by the Turkish gendarmerie at the Syrian–Turkish border since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 361 civilians have been killed, including 69 children and 34 women. The Human Rights Watch has accused the Turkish Armed Forces of shooting at families fleeing across the border, including an instance where an infant was shot.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, founded in May 2006, is a United Kingdom-based information office whose stated aim is to document human rights abuses in Syria; since 2011 it has focused on the Syrian Civil War. It is frequently quoted by major news outlets since the beginning of the war about daily numbers of deaths from all sides in the conflict and particularly civilians killed in airstrikes in Syria. The SOHR has been described as being "pro-opposition" and anti-Assad.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in New York City, that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. The group pressures some governments, policy makers and human rights abusers to denounce abuse and respect human rights, and the group often works on behalf of refugees, children, migrants and political prisoners.
Due to the annexation of the Hatay Province, the post-1939 Syrian–Turkish border touches the Mediterranean coast at Ras al-Bassit, south of Mount Aqra ( km west of Yayladağı. The border reaches its southernmost point at , 2 km west of Bidama, to include the now-abandoned village of Topraktutan (Beysun) in Hatay.). The Hatay province borders the Syrian Latakia and Idlib governorates. The westernmost (and southernmost) border crossing is at , some 3
Ras al-Bassit, the classical Posidium or Posideium, is a small town in Syria named for a nearby cape. It has been occupied since at least the late Bronze Age and was a fortified port under Greek and Roman rule. Herodotus—although not later classical geographers—made it the northwestern point of Syria. Its beaches have a distinctive black sand and are a popular resort destination within Syria.
Latakia Governorate is one of the fourteen governorates (provinces) of Syria. It is situated in western Syria, bordering Turkey. Its reported area varies in different sources from 2,297 km² to 2,437 km². The governorate has a population of 991,000. Members of the Alawite sect form a majority in the governorate, although Armenians, Turkmen, and Sunni Kurds form the majorities in the Kessab, Jabal Turkman, and Jabal al-Akrad regions respectively. The capital of Latakia had, by 2010 estimates, 400,000 inhabitants, 50% of whom were Alawites, 30% were Sunni, and 20% Christian.
Idlib Governorate is one of the fourteen governorates (provinces) of Syria. It is situated in northwestern Syria, bordering Turkey. Reports of its area vary, depending on the source, from 5,933 km² to 6,097 km². The Governorate had a pre-war population of 1,464,000. The provincial capital is Idlib.
The border now runs north and east, following the Orontes River for a part of its course, where in 2011 construction of a Syria–Turkey Friendship Dam began (but has since been delayed due to the Syrian Civil War), and east to the Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing on the İskenderun–Aleppo road, then further north to the border between Hatay and Gaziantep Province, where it turns sharply east outside of Meidan Ekbis (Afrin District), at.
With the exception of the Hatay province, the Turkish side of the border is entirely within the Southeastern Anatolia Region. East of Meidan Ekbis, the border stretches eastward for some 400 km, roughly following the 37th parallel north and passing the 37th to 42nd meridians, to the Turkish–Syrian–Iraqi tripoint on the Tigris River. On the Turkish side, the European route E90 runs alongside the length the border, crossing the Euphrates at Birecik and the Tigris at Cizre.
The Syrian Aleppo Governorate has a 221 kilometres (137 mi) long northern boundary with the Turkish Kilis, Gaziantep, and Şanlıurfa provinces.
For a significant distance, from Çobanbey to Nusaybin the border follows the tracks of the Konya-Baghdad Railway. It crosses the Euphrates River at Jarabulus/Karkamış and passes north of the border town of Kobanî (Ayn al Arab) (built in 1912 as part of the Baghdad Railway construction project). The Raqqa Governorate's Tell Abyad District borders the Turkish Şanlıurfa Province, including the divided border town of Tell Abyad/Akçakale. The Al-Hasakah Governorate, still bordering Şanlıurfa Province, has a border crossing at Ras al-Ayn, connecting to Ceylanpınar. Some 100 km east of Ceylanpınar, the border passes the border town of Nusaybin in the Turkish Mardin Province (ancient Nisibis, the birthplace of Ephraim the Syrian), next to Syrian Qamishli. After another 100 km it finally reaches the Tigris River south of Cizre.
For the final 30 km, the border now follows the course of the Tigris, turning towards the south-east, until it reaches the Syrian–Turkish–Iraqi triple-point at .
From west to east, as of 1 July 2019.
|#||Turkey||Syria||Type||Status||Control on Syrian side|
|1||Yayladağı||Kessab||Road||Restricted||Government of Syria|
|2||Kızılçat||Samira||Closed||Free Syrian Army affiliated groups|
|3||Topraktutan||Yunesiyeh||Closed||Free Syrian Army affiliated groups|
|4||Aşağıpulluyazı||Ein al-Bayda||Restricted||Hayat Tahrir al-Sham|
|5||Güveççi||Kherbet Eljoz||Restricted||Hayat Tahrir al-Sham|
|6||Karbeyaz (Yiğitoğlu)||Darkush||Closed||Hayat Tahrir al-Sham|
|8||Cilvegözü, near Reyhanlı||Bab al-Hawa||Road||Open||Local civil administration|
|10||Hatay Hammamı||Al Hammam||Restricted||Free Syrian Army affiliated groups|
|11||İslahiye||Meidan Ekbis||Railway||Closed||Turkish-backed rebels|
|15||Mürşitpınar||Ayn al-Arab (Kurdish: Kobanê)||Railway||Closed||Autonomous administration (Kurdish-led)|
|16||Akçakale||Tall Abyad (Kurdish: Girê Spî)||Road||Closed||Autonomous administration (Kurdish-led)|
|17||Ceylanpınar||Ras al-Ayn||Road||Closed||Autonomous administration (Kurdish-led)|
|18||Şenyurt||Al-Darbasiyah||Road||Closed||Autonomous administration (Kurdish-led)|
|19||Nusaybin||Qamishli||Road, railway||Closed||Government of Syria|
|20||Cizre||Al-Malikiyah||Closed||Autonomous administration (Kurdish-led)|
Kilis Province is a province in south-central Turkey, on the border with Syria. It used to be the southern part of the province of Gaziantep and was formed in 1994. The town of Kilis is home to around 67% of the inhabitants of the province; the other towns and villages are very small.
The Atatürk Dam, originally the Karababa Dam, is a zoned rock-fill dam with a central core on the Euphrates River on the border of Adıyaman Province and Şanlıurfa Province in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey. Built both to generate electricity and to irrigate the plains in the region, it was renamed in honour of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938), the founder of the Turkish Republic. The construction began in 1983 and was completed in 1990. The dam and the hydroelectric power plant, which went into service after the upfilling of the reservoir was completed in 1992, are operated by the State Hydraulic Works (DSİ). The reservoir created behind the dam, called Lake Atatürk Dam, is the third largest in the world.
Hatay State, also known informally as the Republic of Hatay, was a transitional political entity that existed from September 7, 1938, to June 29, 1939, in the territory of the Sanjak of Alexandretta of the French Mandate of Syria. The state was transformed de jure into the Hatay Province of Turkey on July 7, 1939, de facto joining the country on July 23, 1939. Hatay Province includes districts of Erzin, Dörtyol and Hassa in addition to former Hatay State territories.
Musa Dagh is a mountain in the Hatay province of Turkey. In 1915 it was the location of a successful Armenian resistance to the Armenian Genocide, an event that inspired Franz Werfel to write the novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh.
The Sanjak of Alexandretta was a sanjak of the Mandate of Syria composed of two qadaas of the former Aleppo Vilayet and became autonomous under Article 7 of the 1921 Treaty of Ankara: "A special administrative regime shall be established for the district of Alexandretta. The Turkish inhabitants of this district shall enjoy facility for their cultural development. The Turkish language shall have official recognition". That was because of the presence of Turkic peoples along with Syriacs and Arabs of various religious denominations: Sunni Muslims, Alawites, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholics and Maronites. There were also communities of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Jews and Kurds.
Dörtyol is a city in Hatay Province, Turkey. It is a port city and oil terminus located 26 km north of the city of Iskenderun, near the easternmost point of the Mediterranean at the head of the Gulf of İskenderun.
Nizip (Arabic: نسيب, Kurdish: Bêlqîs, Ottoman Turkish: نزيب, is a district and city of Gaziantep Province of southeastern Turkey.
Yayladağı is a town and district of Hatay Province in southern Turkey, on the border between Turkey and Syria, 51 km (32 mi) south of the city of Antakya.
Ceylanpınar is a district of Şanlıurfa Province in southeastern Turkey. On the border with Syria, it is reached by a long straight road D.905 across the plain south from Viranşehir. It forms a divided city with Ra's al-'Ayn in Syria and there is a border crossing.
Seleucia at the Zeugma was a Hellenistic city or fortified town in the present Republic of Turkey, on the left, or south, bank of the Euphrates, across from ancient Samosata and not far from it.
Turkish Arabs refers to citizens and residents of Turkey who are ethnically Arab.
Aleppo Governorate is one of the fourteen governorates (provinces) of Syria. It is the most populous governorate in Syria with a population of more than 4,868,000, almost 23% of the total population of Syria. The governorate is the fifth in area with an area of 18,482 km2 (7,136 sq mi), about 10% of the total area of Syria. The capital is the city of Aleppo. The governorate is represented by 52 deputies in the parliament, of whom 20 come from the city of Aleppo.
The Southeastern Anatolia Region is a geographical region of Turkey.
Ras al-Ayn, also spelled Ras al-Ain, is a city in al-Hasakah Governorate in northeastern Syria, on the border with Turkey.
As Syrian Arab Spring protests turned into an all-out civil war, the 822-kilometre-long (500 mi) Syrian–Turkish border became the scene of minor military clashes between the Turkish army and various factions in the war to the south.
The Iraqi–Syrian border runs for a total length of 599 km across Upper Mesopotamia and the Syrian desert. It was first defined in the 1920-23 Paulet–Newcombe Agreement, as an amendment to what had been designated the A zone in the Sykes–Picot Agreement of 1916. In 1932, it was finalised following a League of Nations commission review.