Turkey’s refugee problem reached a new peak following Syrian Kurds' capture of Tell Abyad from Islamic State (IS) forces about a month ago. During the clashes in northern Syria, more than 25,000 Syrians crossed the border into Turkey, increasing the number of refugees in the country to more than 2 million. Yet, this is not the primary concern of the Turkish government. Instead, it has been claiming that the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the dominant Kurdish party in northern Syria, is conducting ethnic cleansing with the intention of establishing an independent Kurdish state. To this end, Ankara charges that the PYD has been exiling Arabs and Turkmens in the region and not allowing the refugees of these ethnicities to return to Tell Abyad.
A visit across the border into Syria casts doubt on these claims.