Turkish President and Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the the party's group meeting at the Turkey's parliament in Ankara on May 30, 2017. Photo: AFP / Adem Altan
ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that his country plans to build a wall with Iraq, its southern neighbor, after the country revealed similar plans on the border with Iran earlier in the month, adding that it is to prevent the movements of what he called terrorists.
Turkey has already started constructing a wall with Syria since 2014 with President Erdogan saying on Thursday that they have already completed 650-kilometer long wall on the country’s 911-kilometer border with Syria.
Erdogan has also said that they have plans to erect a wall along its entire Syrian border.
“We’ll do the same along the Iraqi border and in appropriate places along the Iranian border,” Erdogan said.
The Syrian Kurdish administration, mainly under the control of the ruling Democratic Union Party (PYD), runs most of the border with Turkey from the other side.
Turkey considers the PYD, and its armed wing People’s Protection Units (YPG), an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and therefore a terrorist organization.
The PKK is headquartered in the Qandil mountains located on the border between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey. It has been engaged in a three-decades long insurgency against the Turkish state calling for greater national and cultural rights for country’s Kurdish population.
Turkish media earlier in the month reported about Ankara’s plans to construct a 70-kilometer long border wall between Iran and Turkey to “counter terrorist” activities and limiting PKK movements across the 500-kilometer long borders.
Iran welcomed the Turkish move which it said would curtail illegal border trade worth an estimated $2 billion.