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Syria–Turkey border

Syria-Turkey border
الحدود السورية التركية
Suriye–Türkiye sınırı
Entities Syria  Turkey
Length911 km (566 mi)
Map of Syria, with Turkey to the north

The border between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Turkey (Arabic: الحدود السورية التركية, romanizedalhudud alsuwriat alturkia; Turkish: Suriye–Türkiye sınırı) is about 909 kilometres (565 mi) long, and runs from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the tripoint with Iraq in the east. It runs across Upper Mesopotamia for some 400 kilometres (250 mi), crossing the Euphrates and reaching as far as the Tigris. Much of the border follows the Southern Turkish stretch of the Baghdad Railway, roughly along the 37th parallel between the 37th and 42nd eastern meridians. In the west, it almost surrounds the Turkish Hatay Province, partly following the course of the Orontes River and reaching the Mediterranean coast at the foot of Jebel Aqra.


Karadouran/al-Samara beach near Kessab, Syria, along the Syrian-Turkish borderline, where Mount Dyunag touches the Mediterranean Sea

Since Turkey's 1939 appropriation of the Hatay State, the Syrian–Turkish border now touches the Mediterranean coast at Ras al-Bassit, south of Mount Aqra (35°55′44″N 35°55′04″E / 35.9288°N 35.9178°E / 35.9288; 35.9178). Hatay province borders the Syrian Latakia and Idlib governorates. The westernmost (and southernmost) border crossing is at 35°54′18″N 36°00′36″E / 35.905°N 36.010°E / 35.905; 36.010, some 3 km west of Yayladağı. The border reaches its southernmost point at 35°48′29″N 36°09′07″E / 35.808°N 36.152°E / 35.808; 36.152, 2 km west of Bidama, to include the now-abandoned village of Topraktutan (Beysun) in Hatay.

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 İskenderunAleppo road, then further north to the border between Hatay and Gaziantep Province, where it turns sharply east outside of Meidan Ekbis (Afrin District), at 36°49′48″N 36°39′54″E / 36.830°N 36.665°E / 36.830; 36.665.

With the exception of 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. From Al-Rai to Nusaybin/Qamishli, 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. The Syrian Aleppo Governorate has a 221 kilometres (137 mi) long northern boundary with the Turkish Kilis, Gaziantep, and Şanlıurfa provinces.[citation needed]

On the Turkish side, the European route E90 runs alongside the length of the border, crossing the Euphrates at Birecik and the Tigris at Cizre. For the final 30 km the border follows the course of the Tigris, turning towards the south-east, until it reaches the Iraq-Syria-Turkey tripoint at 37°06′22″N 42°21′18″E / 37.106°N 42.355°E / 37.106; 42.355.


Turkey's borders as determined by the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres.

At the start of the 20th century the entire border region was part of the Ottoman Empire. During the First World War, an Arab Revolt (supported by the British) successfully ousted the Ottomans from Syria and Mesopotamia, however Britain and France had secretly agreed to partition the area between them in 1916 via the Sykes–Picot Agreement.

In 1920 Syria formally became a French mandatory territory, being initially split into a number of states, including the French-controlled Sanjak of Alexandretta (modern Hatay province). By the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres Anatolian Turkey was to be partitioned, with the Syrian-Turkish frontier placed further north than its current position. Turkish nationalists were outraged at the treaty, contributing to the outbreak the Turkish War of Independence; the Turkish success in this conflict rendered Sèvres obsolete. A new border more favourable to Turkey was drawn by the Franco-Turkish Treaty of Ankara in 1921 after negotiations between French Prime Minister Aristide Briand and Turkish Foreign Minister Yusuf Kemal Bey. By the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne Turkey's independence was recognised and a far more generous territorial settlement was agreed upon, albeit at the cost of Turkey formally renouncing any claim to Arab lands. Following Lausanne, the Syrian-Turkish frontier was delimited more precisely between Meidan Ekbis and Nusaybin in 1926, and between Nusaybin and the tripoint with Iraq in 1929. A Final Delimitation Protocol covering the entire boundary east of Hatay was then confirmed and deposited with the League of Nations on 3 May 1930.

Turkey's borders as determined by the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. Note that Hatay province is shown as Syrian territory.

A special case was what is now Turkey's Hatay province, which remained autonomous until 1923, then became part of Syria as the Sanjak of Alexandretta, briefly became independent as the Hatay State in 1938, before being annexed by Turkey as Hatay Province in 1939. The Hatay section of the boundary was delimited in 1938 and then confirmed the following year, being marked on the ground by numerous pillars. Hatay was then formally transferred to Turkey on 23 July 1939.

Syria gained independence in 1944, and the frontier then became one between two sovereign states; when Turkey joined NATO (1952) and the OSCE (1973), its boundary with Syria also then formed an outer border of these organisations. Syria continued to claim Hatay province as part of Greater Syria, often depicting the region as part of Syria on official maps, though in recent decades their claims have been less pronounced.

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.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, around 471 Syrians civilians, including 86 children and 45 women, have been killed by the Turkish gendarmerie at the Syrian–Turkish border since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

Border crossings

From west to east, as of 1 July 2019.

# Turkey Syria Type Status Control on Syrian side
1 Yayladağı Kessab Road Restricted Syria
2 Kızılçat Samira Closed Free Syrian Army affiliated groups
3 Topraktutan Yunesiyeh Closed Free Syrian Army affiliated groups
4 Aşağıpulluyazı Ein al-Bayda Closed Hayat Tahrir al-Sham
5 Güveççi Kherbet Eljoz Restricted Hayat Tahrir al-Sham
6 Karbeyaz (Yiğitoğlu) Darkush Closed Hayat Tahrir al-Sham
7 Ziyaret Al-Alani Closed Islamists
8 Cilvegözü, near Reyhanlı Bab al-Hawa Road Open Local civil administration
9 Bükülmez Atme Closed Islamists
10 Hatay Hammamı Al Hammam Open Free Syrian Army affiliated groups
11 İslahiye Meidan Ekbis Railway Closed Syrian National Army
12 Öncüpınar al-Salameh Road Open Syrian National Army
13 Çobanbey Al-Rai Railway Open Syrian National Army
14 Karkamış Jarabulus Road Open Syrian National Army
15 Mürşitpınar Ayn al-Arab Railway Closed Autonomous administration (Kurdish-led)
16 Akçakale Tall Abyad Road Restricted Syrian National Army
17 Ceylanpınar Ras al-Ayn Road Restricted Syrian National Army
18 Şenyurt Al-Darbasiyah Road Closed Autonomous administration (Kurdish-led)
19 Nusaybin Qamishli Road, railway Closed Syria
20 Cizre Al-Malikiyah Closed Autonomous administration (Kurdish-led)
20 Kumlu Afrin Open Syrian National Army


See also

This page was last updated at 2022-06-09 01:43 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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