ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - A Turkish media report said on Tuesday that Turkey had started the construction of a wall along the country's frontier with Iran, mimicking the Turkish barrier along the Syrian border.
Turkey’s private Dogan news agency said the governor of Agri province, Suleyman Elban, visited the construction site.
It added that Ankara is constructing the 2-meter wide, 3-meter high wall with portable blocks.
The wall is set to be 144 kilometers (90 miles) long and will cover a northern area of the border in the Kurdish provinces of Igdir and Agri across Iran's West Azerbaijan Province where Kurds also live.
Turkey already finished a 900-kilometer (560-mile) wall in February across its southern border with Syria where the US-allied Kurdish parties have declared an autonomous region much to the protestations and threats of the Turkish leadership.
Agri and Igdir Provinces, where Turkey’s highest peak Mount Ararat and the volcanic Mount Tendurek are, have been the scene of bloody clashes between the Turkish army and PKK fighters.
The mountainous Iran-Turkey border that stretches from the Kurdistan Region in the south to Armenia in the north is one of the oldest in the world and has stayed largely the same since the early 16th-century.
It saw a slight change for the first time in over 400 years when the two nations agreed on a territorial exchange at the beginning of the 1930s to help a young Turkish state crush the short-lived Republic of Ararat declared by the Kurds.
The 16th-century national Kurdish poet Ahmadi Khani lamented the separation of his people as well as their subjugation by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire and the Persians who were often fighting on Kurdish lands.
The modern border has three commercial crossings, yet smuggling is rife between the two sides which in turn leads to scores of civilian killings both by the Iranian and Turkish armies.
Similar killings of Kurdish border courier (Kulbar) happen a lot more toward the south on the border between the Kurdistan Region and Iran.
The porous frontier also serves Kurdish rebels fighting the two militaries for larger political and cultural rights for the Kurds on both sides.
In May, Turkish authorities approved a plan for the construction of a wall along the country’s border with Iran, claiming it is meant to keep Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members at bay.
Iranian officials stated they did not object to Turkey’s plan for a wall, but they need to be notified.
(Ari Khalidi contributed to this report)