Turkey extends security wall along Iran border: Interior minister
Turkey is adding 242 kilometers more to its security wall along the border with Iran in the eastern province of Van to curtail migration, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Sept. 15.
“We will add another 242 km to the 221 km we have erected so far at our borders with Iran in the east,” he said at a migration board meeting.
“Thus, we will have finished a large part of our border with Iran,” the minister noted.
Turkey started to construct security walls in the eastern province of Iğdır in 2017, and a total of 159 km of wall was later erected in the eastern province of Ağrı, he added.
Turkey’s negotiations with Iran on border security have concluded successfully, Soylu stated.
Turkey now plans to finish the 20-km wall along the border of its southeastern province of Hakkari, he added.
Explaining that 837 kilometers of Turkey’s 911-kilometer Syrian border are equipped with border walls, lighting, fiber optic systems, sensors and night vision cameras, Soylu said that works are also carried out on the borders with Georgia and Armenia against any possible refugee influx.
The number of irregular migrants that Turkey prevented from entering its territory since 2016 is 2.3 million, Soylu said.
A total of 462,026 Syrian refugees returned to the area of Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch in northern Syria, the minister stated.
Stating that Turkey has managed the refugee issue in two periods, “Open Door” and “Adaptation Process,” Soylu said that they call the third period today the “Global Sharing” period, with both increased border security systems and international initiatives.
“There are approximately 183,000 registered and 300,000 Afghan migrants applying for international protection in Turkey. Some of them went to Europe,” he said, adding that of the 1.3 million refugees apprehended from 2016 to date, 470,000 are Afghans and 196,000 are illegal refugees from Pakistan.
“There was a high level of illegal refugee pressure from these two countries, and we have been in close communication with these two countries for a long time,” he added.