New thermal cameras to aid surveillance of Turkey’s borders

Turkey’s mountainous southern border is frequently traversed by smugglers and militants who operate from camps in Iran, Syria and Iraq.

In a move to assist authorities to better monitor cross-border smuggling and the activities of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an agreement between the European Union and Turkey will see the importation of advanced surveillance technology to monitor Turkey’s southern border.

The 28 million euro project will see the implementation of a new generation of thermal cameras and advanced optics in border monitoring operations as well as five new patrol boats to be used by the Turkish Coast Guard (SGK).

The thermal cameras are expected to aid surveillance efforts at Turkey’s often porous southern borders, where security officials have often complained that existing thermal cameras are few and far between.

Turkey’s mountainous southern border is frequently traversed by smugglers and militants who operate from camps in Iran, Syria and Iraq.

A militant captured in the wake of attacks in Hakkari last week that killed 24 soldiers and wounded 18 others, told police that the PKK often receives intelligence from smugglers who cross with impunity into Turkey from neighboring countries.

“We obtain intelligence about Turkish forces in border regions from Iranian and Turkish smugglers who cross the border very frequently,” the detained militant stated.

The militant also stated that the increasing presence of border monitoring technology has helped make crossings more difficult. “We occasionally put X-ray films over our clothes to prevent getting caught by the thermal cameras, and we sometimes would crawl while passing locations that Turkish forces were likely to be watching,” he said.

Cihan

 

 

27 October 2011 Thursday