(Reuters) The Kurdish refugees circled around me in Turkey on the edge of the so-called Islamic State, where part of Syria used to be. They were shouting with a mixture of fury and desperation about their families in Kobani, under siege just across the line. The border guards stopped their relatives from bringing in cars or sheep and left them in a no-man’s land. U.S. warplanes roaring overhead unleashed missiles and precision-guided bombs, but they could do nothing to solve this problem. Small-arms fire crackled close by and sounded as if it were getting closer.
Suddenly we heard the plopping sounds of tear gas canisters being fired, and we stumbled away in different directions, trying to escape the blue-gray choking fumes. Turkish gendarmes ran past me, shouting at the refugees to clear off, firing more canisters for good measure.
Dissent and complaints aren’t something welcomed in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey, and in the weeks and months to come they are likely to be discouraged even more by a government whose reflexes are to lash out when challenged.
Advertisement - story continues below