"You're late," announced the owner of a tea shop, as a van full of foreign journalists pulled up to his business, 20 meters from the border fence.
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But worry was still in the air.
"It's quiet today," said a grizzled Turkish man sipping a glass of tea. "I hope that $*&# guy running that country doesn't do something #*&$ today," he cursed.
Fighting first erupted in the area on November 8, when Syrian rebels mounted an assault on Syrian government forces in the neighboring Syrian town of Ras Al Ain. Ras Al Ain, Syria, and Ceylanpinar, Turkey, are effectively one town, separated by a fence and a parallel line of railroad tracks.
The next day, rebels claimed victory. They raised the opposition flag triumphantly over Ras Al Ain, despite the fact that their offensive had sent thousands of terrified residents streaming across the border to Turkey for safety.
Those refugee numbers swelled when Syrian regime forces struck back, pounding Ras Al Ain with artillery, airstrikes and bombardments with "barrel bombs" hurled out of hovering helicopters.
As Ras Al Ain shook and shuddered, Turkish soldiers and ambulances waited at the nearby border gate, collecting scores of Syrians who arrived wounded, and rushing them to nearby hospitals.
Locals said Turkish authorities parked lines of railroad cars on the tracks between the two towns in an effort to protect Ceylanpinar from shrapnel and errant bullets. But the Turkish government said at least a half dozen Turks were wounded during the week of fighting.
On Wednesday, Turkey's defense minister issued a warning to Syria.