Sluggish Bulgarian Customs Said to Blockade Turkey Border
A huge line of trucks waiting to cross into Bulgaria has formed on the Turkish side of the joint border, according to reports in the Turkish media.
The 8-km line is the result of the sluggish work of the Bulgarian Customs at the Kapitan Andreevo border crossing point, according to Turkish media citing sources from the Kapakule checkpoint on the Turkish side of the border.
The insufficient territory of the Bulgarian customs checkpoint forces the truck drivers to wait on Turkish territory.
Sources from the Turkish Customs have blamed the delays on the introduction of a new software in relation to the switch to the Schengen system.
Bulgarian customs officials have denied the reports, claiming that trucks at the checkpoint are processed at a normal speed and it is "business as usual" day for them.
A similar, 12-km line of trucks was formed at Kapitan Andreevo in July, which led to an internal investigation into the work of the Bulgarian Customs at the major checkpoint on the Bulgarian-Turkish border.
The Turkish drivers were quoted as saying that the Bulgarian customs demand bribes, and make those who refuse to pay them wait in line for hours and days.
Reports in the Bulgarian media even suggested that the delays in the customs are a "tacit retaliation" on part of the customs officers against the increased number of police inspections of their work.
Kapitan Andreevo is the largest crossing point on the Bulgarian-Turkish border as it is located on the shortest land route between Istanbul and Central and Western Europe. The two other crossings on the border - Lesovo and Malko Tarnovo - see a much smaller traffic.
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