Turkish President Abdullah Gul says his country is not able to prevent infiltration of militants from neighboring Syria into its territory despite tight security measures along the border.
Gul told Turkish press from New York, where he is attending the UN General Assembly session, on Monday that radical groups are infiltrating into Turkey from Syrian and the issue has become a serious concern for the national security.
“We aren’t managing to prevent terrorist infiltrations despite all precautions taken and the deployment of cannons and tanks” along the Turkish-Syrian border, Turkish president said.
Gul made the remarks a day after he told reporters that Ankara will not “tolerate” al-Qaeda-type groups emerging in the Syrian conflict.”
“We will not allow any formation beyond our borders that would threaten Turkey and the entire region. We can never tolerate this,” Gul was quoted as saying by the Milliyet newspaper on Sunday.
Gul’s complaint comes despite the fact that Ankara has been a key supporter of militants fighting against the Syrian government since the beginning of unrest in the Arab country. Ankara is providing the militants with both arms and money.
Last week, Turkey closed one of its border crossings with Syria following clashes between al-Qaeda-linked groups and the so-called Free Syrian Army in the northern Syrian town of Azaz, which is located near the border with Turkey.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011.
A very large number of the militants operating inside Syria are reported to be foreign nationals. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are supporting anti-Damascus militants.