Jan 11 2018

Turkey close to completing border wall with Iran

Turkey has built more than half of a 90-mile (144-kilometre) wall along its border with Iran and aims to finish construction next Spring as the country seeks to protect its frontiers from illegal immigration, smuggling and militant incursions.

The wall is being built by state-owned housing developer TOKI, which usually constructs high-rise apartment blocks and villas across Turkey, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post. TOKI has also been building a wall along the border with northern Syria, where Kurdish militants control territory.

"We started this (Iran wall) in the summer, but the season is very short here. Currently, 49 miles of this 90-mile wall has been completed, and when seasonal weather conditions permit, God willing, we will have finished by next Spring," TOKI President Ergun Turan said.

The wall with Iran, which will stretch along the northern third of Turkey's Iranian frontier, aims to prevent smuggling and infiltration by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, Turkish officials have said. The border between Iran and Turkey has remained almost fixed for hundreds of years, making it the oldest frontier between states in the Middle East.

TOKI is also leading efforts to rebuild parts of southeastern Turkey, damaged by Turkey’s heavy bombardment of urban areas that Kurdish militants took control of after the collapse of a ceasefire in 2015.

TOKI is building 25,000 housing units in the region's worst-hit areas and aims to deliver 20,000 of the homes this year, Ergun said.