The Turkish government has completed more than half of its hundreds of miles long concrete anti-illegal invasion wall along its border with Syria, the head of the state-owned Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI) has announced.
Ergün Turan, president of TOKI, told the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News that the wall had already sealed Turkey’s border provinces of Sanlurfa, Gaziantep, Kilis, Hatay, Mardin and Srnak.
“The construction works are ongoing and we will complete it as soon as possible,” he added.
Turan said the wall was being built with concrete blocks 6.56 feet wide and 9.8 feet high, and are being topped with 3.2 feet barbed wire.
“We also built some 161 miles of roads outside the wall,” he added, vowing that the border will bring security after the completion of the wall.
The wall is being built by TOKI in conjunction with the Turkish Defense and Finance Ministries.
Turan said TOKI built security roads and watchtowers for patrol duties as a part of a protocol signed with the Defense Ministry and the Finance Ministry.
As part of the precautions being taken to preserve border security, the government is planning to form a professional armed border patrol that will work under the aegis of the Interior Ministry, Hurriyet Daily News continued.
Border surveillance is currently undertaken by the Interior Ministry, but ten other ministries and central administrative bodies are involved at different stages such as customs, passport control, and medical control.
Along other parts of the border, protection and surveillance services are provided by the Turkish Land Forces, the Gendarmerie, and the Coast Guard.
With its new border plan, the Turkish government “aims to gather and centralize different authorities for border services under the full command of the Interior Ministry. The capacity of the police, gendarmerie, and coast guard personnel will also be strengthened by the ministry. Personnel from the counterterrorism unit of the police forces will also undertake special training,” the report concluded.
Turkey shares a 559 mile border with Syria, which has been embroiled in a civil war since 2011 and which has seen large numbers of Syrians flee to Turkey.
Turkey is also involved in the Syrian war for its own reasons, mainly by supporting anti-government terrorist forces—but is also fighting an ongoing war of its own against Kurdish separatists, whose territory cuts into Turkey and Syria alike.