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Walls on Turkish border also for Europe, says interior minister

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Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Friday claimed that building walls on its borders is not only for the benefit of Turkey but also for that of Europe, the Cumhuriyet daily reported.

“We are not a buffer zone for drugs, terror or migration, we do not accept this. If the West sees us like that, they are wrong,” Soylu said at a conference on Syrian immigrants’ adaptation to workforce markets.

Turkey is building a 911-kilometer-long wall near the Syrian border for security reasons. In addition to that, construction of a wall close to the Iranian border is about to begin.

Soylu also highlighted the extent of Turkey’s efforts to halt migration to Europe, saying that coast guard vessels are working 4,000 hours per week, not 1,000 hours.

In his speech at the conference, Soylu also stated that only 1.5 percent of Syrian immigrants are involved in criminal cases.

According to Soylu, this year over 40,000 Afghans migrated to Turkey, whereas last year the figure was around 6-7,000. “As of now, we have sent 10,178 Afghan back home. Within 10 days, that number will reach 15,000,” he said, stressing Turkey’s efforts to fight illegal migration.

“Who runs the drug business in Afghanistan?” Soylu asked, implying the involvement of higher powers. “Are we running it? Whoever is dominant in Afghanistan, whoever is involved with every square centimeter of Afghan territory, they are running the drug trafficking.”

Soylu also argued that the West should be grateful to Turkey for its efforts to protect migrants without destroying the social order.

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