The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched an offensive to take over Kobane, a strategic town in Syria's Kurdish-majority region, in mid-September. The fighting has so far killed more than 500 people and forced 200,000 others from Kobane and its surrounding villages to flee across the border into Turkey.
Despite having spent close to $4bn on Syrian refugees since the beginning of the civil war in Syria more than three years ago, Turkey has come under heavy criticism from the international community and its own Kurdish minority for not doing more to help Kobane, namely by allowing armed Kurds to cross the border to fight in the town.
Turkey has been reluctant to get involved militarily, partly because it is concerned about arming the Kurdish forces; for the better part of the past three decades, Turkey has been embroiled in civil war with its Kurdish minority.
For those who have made it across the border, meanwhile, life in Turkey is one of frustration and uncertainty.