Thursday, September 4, 2014

Close Turkey's Border with Syria

As the nature and extent of reported looting by or under the protection ISIS/ISIL terrorists in Syria is debated in the press and in the archaeological blogosphere, no one seems to have suggested an obvious solution to any problem:  Turkey should close its border with Syria.

Turkey's Islamist government is already facing criticism for allowing jihadists free passage to and from Syria from Turkish soil.  Turkey, a member of NATO, has a very large and well trained army.  That force should be deployed to the border to both cut off the flow of jihadists to the war zone and confiscate any artifacts illicitly removed from Syria.

CPO submits this is a far more fair and effective solution to any looting problem than giving license to US Customs and Border Protection to seize any undocumented artifact just because it was made in Syria millenia ago.  More so because any funding ISIS/ISIL may receive from "hot antiquities" must pale in comparison to the $800 million the group evidently received from our supposed Turkish allies in return for shipments of "hot oil."


Voz Earl said...

Sounds reasonable enough, but according to media reports the border with Syria is 600 miles and the Turks claim they cannot effectively seal it. They argue that despite much greater resources, the US cannot stop people from illegally crossing the Mexican border. How much less, then, can the Turks keep people from crossing back and forth from Syria?

Cultural Property Observer said...

Agreed, they can't stop everything, but there has been TV news reports showing how easy it is for jihadists to cross and go to the local arms bazaar where you can buy what you want for Jihad. (No antiquities pictured.) And have they really tried?