MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Kurtulmus added that almost 15,000 Syrians have been allowed into Turkey, while 25,000 people were still waiting at the border.
"Turkey reached the end of its capacity to absorb" refugees, Kurtulmus told CNN Turk on Sunday, stressing that 3 million refugees from Iraq and Syria were living in the country.
Over the weekend, media reports claimed that as many as 35,000 Syrian refugees arrived at the border with Turkey in recent days and their numbers were expected to rise drastically amid military action in the city of Aleppo.
"Either they’re going to die in the bombardment there… Or we will take all these people by opening up our borders. This is what we’re doing now," the official told the media outlet, as quoted by the Hurriyet newspaper.
Syria has been in a state of a civil war since political protests in 2011 escalated into an armed conflict.
The internal conflict is responsible for the largest refugee population in the world, with over four million refugees having fled Syria to neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt, according to UN data.