Turkey may establish meeting mechanisms between different institutions for border security

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
ANKARA
Published 02.11.2015 01:26

Meeting in Vienna to discuss Syria, top diplomats from the U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have not reached an agreement on Syrian President Bashar Assad's future. Some claim that with the Assad regime continuing in Syria, the crisis in the country as well as in the region will continue. Dr. Murat Yeşiltaş, the director of security studies at the Ankara-based Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) think tank, said in a recent analysis that "as long as the civil war continues in Syria, border violations and smuggling will continue to threaten Turkey's border security." In the report titled "Neighboring a Civil War: Turkey's Border Security with Syria" Yeşiltaş emphasizes that if Ankara fails to establish a border security institution in the short term, a meeting mechanism may be created to improve coordination between different institutions.

Describing the architecture of border security in Turkey, the report says that border security and management has been provided by a number of different institutions, including the Security General Directorate, Customs and Trade Ministry, Land Forces Command, Gendarmerie General Command and the Coast Guard Command. In this regard, a separate "Border Security Unit" is a necessity not only for Turkey's European Union membership bid, but also due to ongoing political instability in the Middle East, geopolitical chaos, a new form of terror in the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the lack of institutional and legal infrastructure along with the problem of sharing bureaucratic authority and responsibility and limited border controls due to conditions of climate and terrain, Yeşiltaş said.

The report says that safety measures should be applied in a more standardized way and should not change dramatically throughout the provinces. He says that although the measures taken for border security do minimize security risks, strict measures may negatively affect Turkey's influence in the region in terms of a new Syria and a new regional order.

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