Turkish defence minister visits strengthened Iran border

Turkish defence minister inspects reinforced Iran border amid Afghan refugee influx
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Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar visited his country's border with Iran amid an influx of refugees from Afghanistan.
The already heavy military and police presence on the Turkey-Iran border has been reinforced [Getty]

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar inspected his country’s border with Iran over the weekend as his country braces itself for an even bigger influx of refugees fleeing Afghanistan after the Taliban captured Kabul.

Akar visited the area along with military commanders on Saturday, the Turkish defence ministry said.

Turkey is constructing a wall along its border with Iran.

Akar told Turkish media outlet T24 that construction of the wall is almost complete.

The already heavy military and police presence in the area has been reinforced, Akar said.

The Taliban seized the Afghan capital of Kabul on Sunday, after tearing through the rest of the country.

Though the hardline Islamist group has promised peace, videos show panicked Afghans at Kabul airport desperately trying to leave the country on Sunday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that his country is working with Pakistan to prevent a new flood of refugees from Afghanistan.

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Afghan refugees travelling by land usually move through western neighbour Iran to Turkey, where most try to head to Europe.

Iran said on Sunday that it had set up camps close to the border with Afghanistan in preparation for the influx of refugees.

The route through Turkey from Iran is dangerous. Last summer, a migrant boat carrying Iranians, Afghans,and Pakistanis across Lake Van capsized, with 29 Afghans among the dead.

Last month, 133 migrants, the vast majority Afghans, were arrested in Turkey close to the border with Iran.

Turkey already hosts more than four million refugees, mostly from Syria.

Anti-refugee sentiment appears to be on the rise in Turkey. Turkish mobs attacked Syrian and Afghan refugees in Ankara earlier this month after the alleged stabbing of a Turkish teen by a Syrian refugee.

Last month, a Turkish opposition MP said he would send back Syrian refugees if he were to come to power.