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G20 summit begins in Turkey amid tight security

News Agencies | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 8:53 IST

Thousands of security personnel and high-tech surveillance systems dotted every nook and corner of this Turkish resort town as leaders of the world's 20 top economies, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, congregated here for the two-day G20 Summit beginning on 15 November.

The heightened security measures, comprising of over 12,000 security personnel, drone detection equipment, 350 mobile cameras with licence-plate recording and face-recognition systems, follow the audacious terror attacks in Paris on 13 November night.

Around 13,000 officials and 3,000 journalists from across the world are here for the 10th G20 Summit, being held at the Regnum Carya Hotel Convention Center in the Belek town of Antalya's Serik district.

The town of Belek has been declared a high-security Red Zone area and a virtual no-go zone for the non-delegates.

Markets and shops around the venue have been shut and thousands of barricades and security personnel are deployed on alongside roads leading to the venue.

As part of additional security measures, no tourists are allowed to stay in the hotels in Belek for the entire duration of the summit, which ends on Monday. At least 30 of the 46 hotels in the area have been designated as part of the summit zone. All these hotels have been equipped with bulletproof glass.

In addition to the local police force, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) are also on alert. The event is also to be protected by Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) and Turkish jet fighters.

The Turkish military has put in place an around-the-clock air defence system to prevent any possible missile or drone attacks.

Officials said more than 350 mobile cameras with license-plate recording and face-recognition systems have been installed on the highway from Antalya airport to the seaside enclave and around the hotels where world leaders including US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are staying.

Two indoor sports stadiums in Antalya have been turned into temporary police stations and one of the international arrivals terminals within the Antalya Airport has been allocated for G20 participants.

While Syrian passport was found on one of the attackers in Paris, the ISIS militants-controlled territory along the Turkish border was linked to the suicide bombing last month of a pro-Kurdish rally in Ankara that killed 102 people.


First published: 15 November 2015, 2:56 IST