It is easy to accidentally commit symlinks to an SVN repository. Once you do it is not so easy to remove them.
When you commit a symlink to svn, svn doesn't commit the symlink file, rather it adds the symlink as a directory and follow the symlink adding the contents. This isn't really svn doing this but rather the filesystem.
For example (I will use a Drupal site example) I typically checkout files and modules via CVS in a contributions dir and symlink to those from the modules and themes dir so my file sistem is like this