by WorldTribune Staff, November 6, 2016
Turkey plans to complete a 900-kilometer wall along its border with Syria by early 2017, the country’s defense minister said.
“We plan to build a wall along our entire border with Syria,” Fikri Isik said on Nov. 2 during an inspection tour of military personnel and installations in the southern Turkish province of Hatay on the border with Syria.
The wall consists of huge portable 3-meter tall cement blocks topped off with barbed wire. The border barrier project also includes electronic surveillance systems along with border checkpoints and observation towers to better monitor movement along the border.
A 200-kilometer stretch of the wall was completed last month.
Ankara has said its borders will remain open to civilians fleeing the conflict in Syria.
Turkey has been heavily criticized for not controlling its border with Syria and making it easy for terrorists to cross back and forth.
Rebels from the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army are being used to clear a swathe of territory near the border to prevent it being used as a launch pad for attacks on Turkey.
No cost estimates for the construction of the wall have been provided. Local media have put forward various figures ranging from $640 million to $1.2 billion.