Greek, Bulgarian Fences along Turkish Border Draw Criticism

Views on BG | January 22, 2011, Saturday // 13:12

By H?rriyet Daily News.

Plans by Greece and Bulgaria to build a fence along the Turkish border have drawn criticism in Turkey as it is widely perceived as the EU's hidden intention to build a wall to mark its borders.

Turkish Center for International Relations and Strategic Analysis Chairman Sinan O?an said Greece and Bulgaria's intention to build a fence along the Turkish border had a hidden agenda. "Greece, under the pretext of illegal migration, and Bulgaria, under the pretext of taking measures against foot-and-mouth disease, are practically building a wall between Turkey and Europe," said O?an.

O?an said that fence-building plan was similar to the Berlin Wall or Israel's West Bank barrier. "The European Union is drawing a line to the Turkish border, over Greece and Bulgaria. A line between the worlds of Christianity and Islam. This can't be taken lightly," warned O?an.

Mustafa Yard?mc?, a board member at Turkey's Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, or TOBB, and board chairman of the Edirne Commodity Exchange, said he did not believe Bulgaria could build a fence along its border with Turkey as it would be extremely costly and fail to prevent animals from crossing the border.

"Our region is free of foot and mouth disease. And besides, even if they build a fence the animals will find an opening and cross the border. I don't see why they would put forth such a thing," said Yard?mc?.

Edirne Commodity Exchange Deputy Chairman Serdar Yal??ner said the fence-building plan was an EU attempt to mark its borders, noting that Thrace was free of foot and mouth disease.

"Bulgaria wants to build a 143-kilometer fence along the border with Turkey under the pretext of foot and mouth disease. It is asking the EU to pay for the costs. It means the EU is building a 'Berlin Wall' along our borders. Let's say they managed to stop boars with a fence – what about birds and moles? The EU is marking its borders," said Yal??ner.

Greece's Citizen Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis announced a few weeks ago that the Greek government was planning to construct a fence along the 206-kilometer border with Turkey to stem the flow of nearly 11,000 illegal migrants each year.

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Tags: border, European Union, EU, Bulgaria, greece, turkey, foot-and-mouth disease
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