Bulgaria tightens checks on Turkish vehicles amid crisis
SOFIA - Anadolu Agency
Turkish truckers wait at Kapıkule customs gate between Turkey and Bulgaria. DHA PhotoBulgaria on Feb. 11 said it had begun tightening border control checks on all vehicles amid tension with Turkey over transport permits, which has resulted in the closure of crossings to both countries’ respective trucks.
Bulgarian authorities started checking all passenger lists, insurance documents, schedules and toll roads on Turkish trucks and buses yesterday in accordance with a European Union directive. Turkey and Bulgaria closed their borders last week to truck traffic after Sofia approved only 5,000 of the 125,000 transit permits requested by Turkish truckers at the beginning of the year.
Truckers at the Kapitan Andreevo gate on the Bulgarian side, across from Turkey’s Kapıkule gate, and the Lesovo gate across from Hamzabeyli, blocked the way Feb. 10 in protest of the deadlock.
Larger transportation companies were also expected to join the protests to urge Ankara and Sofia to move up a meeting on the quota issue slated for Feb. 21 between the countries’ respective transportation ministries.
They had also pledged to stage a demonstration in Sofia if the transit passage permit crisis with Turkey is not settled within days.