London Worried By Turkey’s Borders
August 1, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
LONDON, Aug. 1 (UPI) — There are concerns about the security of the Turkish border in the event Ankara secures membership to the European Union, London said.
Turkish efforts to join the European Union hit a snag last year because of opposition expressed by several European governments.
Some European lawmakers expressed concerns about Turkish acrimony with Cyprus, declines in press freedoms, honor killings and the lack of protection for religious minorities.
The British Home Affairs Committee in a report said there were real concerns about the security of the external border for the European Union if Turkish accession efforts prove successful.
If Ankara wins its bid, the external border of the European Union would extend to Iraq, Iraq and Syria.
“Turkey must be required to ‘clearly and objectively’ demonstrate that it has met stringent criteria set by the EU for border management prior to accession,” a committee statement read.
Meanwhile, a land border between Greece and Turkey is what the committee said was a loophole for “irregular immigration” into the European Union. Though a proposed border fence could allay some concerns, the committee said it wasn’t necessarily a solution in and of itself.
“I am concerned that, if action is not taken now, it will become even easier for migrants from countries such as Afghanistan and Iran to enter the EU once Turkey is a member,” committee Chairman Keith Vaz said in a statement.