Bulgarian truckers block Turkey border again
SOFIA - Agence France-Presse
Bulgarian truckers say that the Turkish customs authorities subject them to lengthy checks and additional requirements in an attempt to them uncompetitive on the transport market. DHA photoBulgarian truck drivers blocked Thursday the EU country's two major border checkpoints with Turkey for a second time in a week to protest lengthy customs procedures on the Turkish side, state BNR radio reported.
A 10-kilometre queue of trucks built up at the main Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint on the Bulgarian side, with another five-kilometre-long line at the smaller Lesovo checkpoint further north, the radio said.
There were also thought to be lengthy build-ups on the Turkish side of the border, a major crossing point for goods from the Middle East going into central Europe and for EU goods going into non-EU Turkey and beyond.
The truckers say that the Turkish customs authorities subject them to lengthy checks and additional requirements in an attempt to them uncompetitive on the transport market.
"We will keep up the protests until the situation changes and Turkey starts to observe European and international road traffic regulations and stops torturing us," truck company owner Petko Angelov told BNR.
"We want to receive equal treatment as the rest of the road transport companies," he added.
Bulgaria's transport ministry announced later Thursday that it backed the truckers' demands and had filed an official complaint with the European Commission.
Caretaker transport minister Kristian Krastev has demanded an urgent meeting with his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim, the ministry said.
The government press office also said that Bulgaria's ambassador to Ankara had also protested with the Turkish authorities, which "issued instructions for the lifting of all restrictions against Bulgarian truck companies passing via Turkey."