Fortress Turkey: Turkey - Iraq Security Wall

The Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak, which is affiliated with the AK Parti, reported this week that the Turkish military plans to build a security fence that will span Turkey's border with northern Iraq. The planned fence, for which an anonymous source estimated a cost of $2.8 million, is meant to bolster Turkey's defenses against trans-border military activities sponsored by the PKK.

For additional information about the wall, please read the following article.

Throughout the spring and summer months of this year, the Turkish military has made much ado about a possible invasion of northern Iraq and most likely the Qandil region in particular. In terms of their rhetoric,
Büyükanıt and the rest of the military have taken a page from the "Bush Doctrine", arguing that the best defense is a good offense.

The building of a great Turkish security wall would be appear to be inconsistent with this philosophy. While the Israelis have consistently proven that the military usage of a wall does not restrict a military from frequent proactive or offensive operations, Turkey's wall will protect a much longer and less dense swath of territory. This observer wonders whether such a long fence will truly offer greater protection against PKK incursions originating from northern Iraq? Will security cameras and possibly even infrared equipment really tip the scales in favor of the Turkish military? If the Turkish military can't stop the PKK in the current environment of fluid trans-border movement, it seems unreasonable to think that a (seemingly inexpensive) $2.8 million fence will make much difference from a military standpoint.

Time will tell whether such talk concerning the creation of "Fortress Turkey" will indicate a shift in the Turkish approach to the PKK nuisance in northern Iraq. Talk of a Turkey invading northern Iraq will probably continue in the future, but the creation of a wall will certainly change the Turkish psyche
to a certain extent vis a vis the PKK .

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