Turkey to reopen border crossings with Iran, Iraq

By opening two border crossings with Iran and Iraq, Turkey is seeking to boost the economy, and many businesses resume operations in the country this week.

al-monitor Trucks are seen at the Habur border gate in this still taken from video in Habur, Turkey, Oct. 31, 2017. Photo by REUTERS TV/ via REUTERS.

Jun 4, 2020

Turkey will reopen two border crossings with Iraq and Iran this week as the country comes out of months of virus-related closures.

Turkey’s Gurbulak crossing with Iran and the Habur crossing with Iraq are set to open, Reuters reported Wednesday. The goal is to boost trade in the country following the economic downturn related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the outlet.

This week, Turkey is beginning to reopen following months of lockdown aimed at mitigating the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. On Monday, the authorities allowed cafes and shops to resume business. A ban on domestic travel was also lifted following a decrease in new confirmed COVID-19 cases.

However, Turkey still faces challenges with the virus and the economy. Coronavirus cases are still rising by about 1,000 a day and inflation went up significantly in May, abetted by rising food and energy costs.

Turkey closed its borders in March to prevent the spread of the virus, including the border with Iran. Turkey also temporarily halted trade with Iraq, but it soon resumed trade with Iraqi Kurdistan, an important economic partner for Ankara, by way of a buffer zone where drivers exchanged goods without coming into close contact with one another.

Turkey had registered 166,422 COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday, according to data from its Health Ministry.

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