Turkey plans wall on Iranian border to prevent PKK crossings, report

By Rudaw 22 hours ago

A Turkish soldier patrols an area of eastern Turkey. Photo: AA

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Plans are in the works for Turkey to construct a 70-kilometer wall on its border with Iran, according to Turkish media, as armed conflicts have resumed for nearly two years between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish state.

“The PKK has the Maku, Dambat, Navur, Kotr, Keneresh and Şehidan camps inside Iran near the Turkish border. There are some 800-1,000 PKK terrorists in those camps. They enter Turkey, carry out attacks and leave,” Hurriyet Daily News quoted an unnamed “high-level official” as saying on Monday.

The PKK resumed its three decade long guerrilla war with the Turkish government after peace talks stalled in July 2015. More than 2,481 people have lost their lives in that span because of the conflict, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG), which stated it doesn’t rely on government or PKK statistics.

The PKK uses the porous and mountainous border regions like Qandil to smuggle and cross borders to launch attacks, and then retreat to its bases.

“As a precaution against this, we are going to build a wall along 70 kilometers of the border near Ağrı and [the eastern province of] Iğdır, and we will close the rest of it with towers and iron fences. In addition, we are placing lights on the border,” the source also reportedly said.

The project would be in addition to more than 550 kilometers of wall construction completed recently on the Turkish-Syrian border.