Turkey’s Syria border crossing 'out of control,' says governor’s office
A crossing on Turkey’s border with Syria is reportedly 'out of control,' according to a report prepared by the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa’s governor’s office. AA photo
A crossing on Turkey’s border with Syria is "out of control" due to the flow of refugees, allowing outlawed groups to move freely between the two countries, according to a report by the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa’s governor’s office, daily Milliyet has reported.
The border gate in Şanlıurfa’s Akçakale district has seen an increased flow of Syrian refugees in recent days due to clashes in Syria’s Rakka province and the situation at the crossing has become unmanageable, according to a report sent by Şanlıurfa governor’s office to the Security General Directorate.
Our border crossing has become uncontrolled due to the overloading and congestion. There is insufficient control over the passports as well as the boxes, bags and equipment people are carrying with them, said Milliyet’s Sept. 6 report.
The modernization of the Akçakale customs gate has reportedly not been accomplished and there is a security weakness for personnel in the event of a flow of refugees at the gate. The report also stated that ID checks, taking the necessary pictures, and conducting body searches cannot be done properly because of the volume of people.
The refugee camps in Şanlıurfa’s Akçakale and Harran districts are full, so the refugees who enter the border crossing are moving to several places across Turkey uncontrolled, with the help of their relatives.
The report also mentioned that the risk of terror leaks into the country has risen along with the uncontrolled gates.
Militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and their collaborators are reportedly taking advantage as the Akçakale border gate is close to the Syrian provinces of Resulayn and Kobani, where a PKK affiliate group, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), is active. Some institutions in Syria are controlled by the PKK members and these people could easily have official passports.
The are also concerns about risks of a possible conflict between Arab and Kurdish communities in Şanlıurfa, as wounded Syrian rebels are being treated in the city’s hospitals.
El Muhabarat, the Syrian regime’s intelligence service, as well as officials, are also thought to be exploiting the security weakness at the border and entering Turkey to collect information and create conflict, the report added.
It also warned that smuggling was increasing across the border, with weapons, animals, hashish, and food being smuggled in greater quantities.