Turkey plans to finish the construction of a border wall along its 900km-long border with Syria in the next five months. The first 200km stretch has already been completed after construction began in 2014, media reports.
Ergün Turan, Head of the Housing Development Administration of Turkey, responsible for the construction of the wall, stated that the remaining 700 km will be completed by spring next year. The wall will be three metres high and two meters wide. The border wallis both a security measure, given regarding the conflict in Syria, and as well as a strategy to stop refugees entering the country.
The media reports that of the 19 official crossings along the Turkish-Syrian border only two remain open. Often only critically the wounded could access Turkey. Non-official entry points remain dangerous, as the latest killing of a 15-year old Syrian boy and wounding of two men by Turkish soldiers in the beginning of this month shows.
Between March and April this year Human Rights Watch has documented the violence at the border stating that Turkish border guards are shooting and beating asylum seekers as well as pushing them back into Syria, leading to deaths and serious injuries.
UN & EU remain silent over Turkey & its wall trapping Syrian asylum seekers in war zone https://t.co/ktvt7Jy44p @HRW https://t.co/EnjaelbsbN pic.twitter.com/WiEzv579TZ
— Gerry Simpson (@GerrySimpsonHRW) October 14, 2016
On the building of the new wall Gerry Simpson, Senior Refugee Researcher at Human Rights Watch tweeted “UN & EU remain silent over Turkey & its wall trapping Syrian asylum seekers in war zone.”
For further information:
- HRW, Turkey: Border guards kill and injure asylum seekers, May 10, 2016
- ECRE, Turkey violently rejects asylum seekers and clamps down on human rights, May 13, 2016
- HRW, UN: Press Turkey to open border, May 20, 2016