Turkey has begun building a “security wall” along part of its border with Iran, regional officials said on Aug. 8, in a move aimed at stopping illegal passages.
The wall is being built by the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) upon the request of the Defense Ministry.
Pictures showing huge concrete blocks being moved into place were published on the website of the governor’s office of the eastern province of Ağrı.
Turkish authorities announced the construction of a 144-kilometer long barrier in May as a means of blocking cross-border movements. The entire Turkish-Iranian frontier is around 500 kilometers long.
Ağrı Governor Süleyman Elban, Provincial Police Chief Kenan Yıldız and Provincial Gendarmerie Commander Colonel Gökhan Şahin visited the site of the construction and carried out examinations.
After receiving information on the project, Elban moved on to visit a border post and dined with soldiers.
The “security wall” will be constructed in five stages between Ağrı and the neighboring province of Iğdır as part of the protocol between the ministry and TOKİ.
The first stage is expected to be completed in October and will also feature a “security road” in order for security forces be able to patrol the area behind the border.
Bulletproof glasses will be put in 15 doors that will be set throughout the wall.
The efforts to place blocks weighing 7 tons with 2 meters width and 3 meters height are ongoing.
To beef up security on its Syrian border, Turkey began constructing a similar wall two years ago to prevent Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants from moving easily between the two countries and to clamp down on illegal crossings.
In June, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said 690 kilometers out of a planned 828 kilometers of the wall had been completed along the frontier with Syria.
He added that further border security measures would be put in place once the construction is completed.