Syrians enter Turkey from the Turkish Cilvegozu border gate, located opposite the Syrian commercial crossing point Bab al-Hawa in Reyhanli, Hatay province, September 17, 2013. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
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On Turkey's border with Syria, outside a brick building housing the Turkish officials charged with overseeing who arrives and who leaves, a Syrian man whispers in Arabic.Inside, under a wall decorated with a calendar featuring handguns and a window looking onto the no-man's land between the border at Reyhanli and the chaos of Syria's three-year civil war, a Turkish border official says nobody can get across without his permission.If the English-accented man shown in videos beheading two American journalists is identified as a British citizen, he may well have crossed the same border.That's up from $10 a person before Turkish authorities cracked down on border security.Instead, an ambivalent status quo has been established at two of the three official border crossings that Turkey still maintains with Syria.Hasan Akgol, a member of parliament for the province of Hatay, which borders Syria, said he had petitioned the Turkish government repeatedly to tighten the border.Over a two-hour period at the Reyhanli crossing, hundreds of Syrians approached a single uniformed Turkish border agent, who grabbed at passports randomly.
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