September 17, 2021
Turkey will add 242 kilometers (150 miles) to its border wall with Iran to prevent the influx of illegal immigrants and bolster security, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on Thursday.
“Thus, we will have finished a large part of our border with Iran,” Hürriyet daily quoted the minister as saying.
Turkey began building its border wall with its eastern neighbor in 2017 and has so far completed 221 kilometers (137 miles) of the concrete structure. The announcement to add a longer segment comes after the Islamic militant Taliban movement took over Afghanistan that can lead to a huge refugee wave toward Europe.
Already there are about 500,000 Afghans refugees and millions of Syrians in Turkey according to estimates. Ankara has also reinforced 837 kilometers of its 911-kilometer (566 mile) border with Syria.
Turkey also faces dangers from armed Kurdish insurgents who can relatively easily cross borders into and from neighboring countries, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Ankara is also planning to build walls along borders with Armenia and Georgia.
The Greek government has also recently announced its plans for building a 40-kilometer wall along its border with Turkey for preventing illegal migrants crossing into the European Union.
In 2014, a huge wave of Syrian and other refugees crossed mainly from Turkey into Europe creating the biggest single-year influx that led to political crisis on the continent.