The construction in the Karkamış district of southeastern province of Gaziantep will continue for some time, officials said. The wall will span just a fraction of the 900-kilometer border, but highlights Ankara’s growing concern about the spillover of violence from northern Syria.
Turkey has vowed to maintain its “open door” policy to those fleeing the fighting, although it has closed border crossings from time to time following clashes near the frontier.
Refugees, smugglers and rebel fighters have been able to cross the border undetected in many remote areas, bypassing the main gates and leaving Turkey with a major security challenge.
The construction of a two-meters high wall between Nusaybin and Qamishli further east along the Syrian border on October had resulted in protests on both sides of the frontier, prompting the mayor of the Şırnak district to start a hunger strike.
Turkey had also previously announced the construction of a 2.5-kilometer-long wall along the Cilvegözü border gate with Syria to prevent smuggling activities.