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Refugees employed to erect wall along Turkey's Syrian border.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Syrian refugees who have fled to neighboring Turkey due to civil war in their country are now working on the construction of a wall the Turkish government has been building along its borders to stem the illegal crossing of terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.

A three-meter-high concrete wall is being built along some parts of the Turkish-Syrian border in the southern province of Kilis, which neighbors ISIL on the other side. The wall will consist of two-meter-thick concrete blocks and have one meter of razor wire on top.

Police have detained several alleged ISIL militants who reportedly entered Turkey illegally, crossing the border in the province.

(Photo: Today's Zaman, KE-rE-at Bayhan)

Apart from the project foremen, most of the workers on the wall are Syrians and all of them wished to remain anonymous when speaking to the media. Expressing sorrow for their relatives on the other side of the border, they say, "We must put up this wall for our security."

Speaking to Today's Zaman, Metin Ecorabatyr from the Ankara-based Asylum and Immigration Studies Center (yGAMDER) says the construction of the wall risks violating Article 14 of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees peoples' right to asylum.

"Even though we cannot say that the [intended] wall along Turkey's Syrian border will definitely violate this right, it will make it hard for one to avail oneself of this right," Ecorabatyr said.

"If a [Syrian refugee] group wants to flee the war in the near future, how can they take refuge without facing this wall?" he added.

Turkey has been home to around 2.5 million Syrians, the world's largest refugee population. While only about 10 percent of those refugees stay at specially designated camps near the Syrian border, the rest have been scattered across the country.

Turkey has only very recently begun issuing work permits to the refugees.

SEVDE NUR TUNEc | KILIS [Cihan/Today's Zaman] CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Feb 22, 2016
Words:341
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