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Fear of war grips Turkish border province

In the border province of Hatay, fears mount that Turkey will declare war against Syria after the downing of a Syrian jet.
Turkish soldiers march during a ceremony to mark the 89th anniversary of Republic Day in central Antakya, in the southern border province of Hatay, October 29, 2012. REUTERS/Murad Sezer (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS ANNIVERSARY MILITARY) - RTR39QA9

ANTAKYA, Turkey — A fisherman’s boat bobs on the sapphire blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. A stray puppy gambols on a deserted sand beach. In normal times, this small seaside Eden in Turkey’s southernmost province of Hatay would buzz with summer holidaymakers. But the coming season threatens to be different in Meydankoy. “We are on the frontline of the war,” says Ozgur Kaya, a fisherman, pointing toward the Syrian side of the coast. The thud of artillery fire drowns out his voice

In the nearby township of Yayladag, a group of students paces nervously, their faces etched with fear. A stray rocket launched during the ongoing battle between Syrian forces and assorted opposition fighters over the predominantly Armenian town of Kassab has just landed on the edge of town. “That rocket could have hit us. We could have been killed,” says a female student who declines to identify herself by name. The students have petitioned the government to provide a new campus so they can complete the semester out of harm’s way. “And if they don’t, we will just have to quit school,” says a male student, who also chooses to remain anonymous.

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