Turkey increases security measures along Syrian border
(22 September 2014)
Turkey has tightened security measures along the Syrian border to combat the growing threat of Islamic State (ISIS) militant activities. Turkey’s 900-kilometer border with Syria had been relatively open, allowing Syrian refugees to flee the conflict and supporters of Syrian opposition forces to cross into Syria. The rise of ISIS has prompted Turkey to increase security measures along the border.
Reports from the Voice of America indicate that the border between Turkey and Syria has become an entry point for foreign nationals crossing into the Syrian conflict. ISIS could declare Turkey a target of its activities as well. Turkish border security has thus become not only a domestic priority, but also a top European goal as well, prompting increased intelligence sharing and joint security measures between Turkey and members of the European Union. These measures include tighter screening of passengers on flights to Turkey and strengthening border patrols along the Syrian border. Ten of the border gates between Syria and Turkey have been closed, and only two of the remaining gates permit foreign nationals to cross the border.
The border security measures have had consequences for militant groups in Syria. A militant interviewed by Reuters stated that, “We used to get in and out of Turkey very easily” but that the situation had recently changed.
Turkey Struggles to Stem Flow of Jihadists Across Border, 26 August 2014, Voice of America, http://www.voanews.com/content/turkey-struggles-to-stem-flow-of-jihadists-across-border/2428296.html
Turkey tries to amp up its border security as the threat from ISIS rises, 3 September 2014, Public Radio International, http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-09-03/turkey-tries-amp-its-border-security-threat-isis-rises