Greece finalises plan to build Turkey wall against migrants

Greece has finalised plans to build a wall along its border with Turkey to prevent possible mass illegal crossings of migrants and refugees, the Associated Press reported on Monday.

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said that 26 kilometres of wall would be added to an existing 10-kilometre section of fencing in a $74 million project due to be completed by the end of April 2021, AP said.

The Public Order Ministry said the wall will be five metres high with galvanized square steel tubes a concrete foundation, according to AP

Turkey, a host to some 4 million refugees, according to the U.N.’s refugee agency, announced in February that it would stop policing its side of the border, prompting an influx of thousands of refugees at its northeastern frontier with Greece. However, the number of migrants and refugees crossing over fell sharply this year during the COVID-19 pandemic and after the border standoff prompted tougher border policing, according to AP.

Police officials told AP that a surveillance camera network would also cover the entire 192-kilometre Greek-Turkish border.

Last week, the Daily Mail reported that border guards were deploying sound cannons, a weapon that causes pain and permanent hearing damage, to deter migrants.

The Greek authorities have violently expelled asylum seekers and migrants back to Turkey, in some cases confiscating and destroying their belongings, human rights organisations reported this summer.