HATAY - Anadolu Agency
A portable concrete wall is being built on the border with Syria in the southern province of Hatay as part of security measures.
The wall, which is composed of concrete 3-meter-long blocks, is being built in the border town of Reyhanlı’s Kuşaklı village in an effort to prevent illegal crossings and smuggling.
The wall will reportedly be 1,200-meter-long and weigh nine tons when it is finished. The concrete blocks will able to be transferred when necessary.
The construction began two days ago and 150 concrete blocks have been placed so far.
The same kind of walls were previously used in some areas in Syria’s border town Atme.
In the southeastern province of Gaziantep, another wall was built in January in order to stop people from illegally bypassing checkpoints.
Turkey has vowed to maintain its “open door” policy to those fleeing the fighting, although it has closed border crossings from time to time following clashes near the frontier.
Refugees, smugglers and rebel fighters have been able to cross the border undetected in many remote areas, bypassing the main gates and leaving Turkey with a major security challenge.
The construction of a two-meters-high wall between Nusaybin and Qamishli further east along the Syrian border on October had resulted in protests on both sides of the frontier, prompting the mayor of the district of Şırnak to start a hunger strike.
Turkey had also previously announced the construction of a 2.5-kilometer-long wall along the Cilvegözü border gate with Syria to prevent smuggling activities.