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Turkey: Reinforcement at the borders to block any influx of Afghan migrants

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Turkey: Reinforcement at the borders to block any influx of Afghan migrants
REUTERS, MURAD SEZER

Turkey believes that it has reached its capacity to welcome migrants trying to flee the Taliban's return to power in Afghanistan. The authorities have therefore decided to close the borders and ask Europe to take over.

The Afghans who manage to make the journey along several weeks to walk down to Turkey via Iran are now facing a three meters high wall and barbed son, while the Turkish authorities have tightened measures to avoid an influx of migrants into the country.

Ankara embarked on strengthening its border as Taliban insurgents stepped up their offensive across Afghanistan, where they took control of the capital Kabul last Sunday.

Turkey, which hosted more than four million refugees from Syria following the previous migration crisis and serves as a staging post for many migrants eager to reach Europe, plans to continue by the end of the year the installation of a border wall started in 2017.


Appeal to Europeans

Security patrols and other measures are in place along the 560 kilometer border. "We want to show the whole world that our borders are impassable," the governor of the province of Van, in the east of the country, told Reuters. "Our greatest hope is that there is no wave of migrants from Afghanistan," Mehmet Emin Bilmez added over the weekend.

According to the authorities, some 182,000 Afghan migrants are legally in Turkey, and some 120,000 others have entered the country illegally, according to estimates.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged European countries to shoulder their responsibilities in the face of possible influxes of migrants, saying his country would not become "Europe's migrant warehouse" .

Like Turkey, Greece has reinforced its border by erecting 40 kilometers of barrier and a surveillance system to stop migrants who manage to escape the control of the Turkish authorities to enter the European Union.

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