VOA – Ankara’s apparent intention to build a wall along its border with Iran is being met with skepticism by some regional experts who question its practicality and whether it will curb cross-border terrorism as Turkey intends.
A report last week in the Hurriyet Daily News, written by a reporter close to the Turkish government, quoted unnamed Turkish authorities as saying the wall is necessary to keep out militants in Iran associated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is fighting the Turkish State for greater autonomy.
“The PKK has a lot of camps on Iranian territory along the border with Turkey,” the newspaper quoted a government source as saying. “These camps house between 800 and 1,000 Kurdish fighters. They cross the border, commit attacks in Turkey and run back.
“As a precaution against this, we are going to build a wall along 70 kilometers of the border near Agrı and Igdır, and we will close the rest of it with towers and iron fences,” the official said.
The wall proposal copies what Turkey has done along its Syrian border since 2014. Turkey put up concrete barriers topped with razor wire along about 900 kilometers of its border with Syria at a cost of $672 million. The enhanced border security is designed to keep out Islamic State infiltrators and forces associated with PKK in Syria.