ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkey last year erected 330 kilometers (205 miles) of walls along its borders with Syria and Iraq to fight illegal crossings, the Turkish military said on Jan. 14.
According to a Turkish General Staff press statement on border incidents in 2016, Turkey also put up 191 kilometers (119 miles) of reinforced fences along those borders to boost physical security.
The statement said that nearly 425,000 people from 74 different countries trying to illegally cross Turkey’s borders were captured in 2016, adding that over 390,000 of them were from war-torn Syria.
The statement added that foreign fighters from 68 different countries tried to cross the border to join the Daesh terrorist organization from August to December 2016, but that this number was seven times less than in the same period in 2015.
Turkey hosts some 3 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. The country has spent around $25 billion helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests – which erupted as part of the Arab Spring
uprisings – with unexpected ferocity
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed by the conflict and millions more displaced.