The New York Times
March 19, 2015
To the Editor:
“A Path to ISIS, Through a Porous Turkish Border” (front page, March 10) oversimplifies the challenges that Turkey faces in stopping the flow of foreign fighters to Syria. For a similar situation, your readers don’t have to look far. The United States has historically encountered immigration challenges with the Mexican border; imagine if the failed state of Syria and land controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria were right next door instead.
Turkey has already caught 1,500 terrorists trying to cross its borders, but still more intelligence sharing is necessary. As a starting point, Turkey’s Western allies should grant the country access to the most up-to-date watch lists, which Turkey has requested yet been blocked from multiple times.
At the same time, the country’s open borders have offered safe passage to more than 1.6 million people who have fled the brutality of ISIS and the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Closing the border would only exacerbate this crisis for those seeking refuge from the fighting.
Turkish Heritage Organization