Tight security as G-20 summit begins

People sitting at the beach in front of barriers to the Group of 20 summit zone in Antalya, Turkey, yesterday. Tourists are not allowed to stay in hotels in Antalya's Belek area over the summit period, and air and sea security systems are in place in
People sitting at the beach in front of barriers to the Group of 20 summit zone in Antalya, Turkey, yesterday. Tourists are not allowed to stay in hotels in Antalya's Belek area over the summit period, and air and sea security systems are in place in the area.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

The sun-soaked Mediterranean coastal resort of Antalya is under high security alert as global leaders began arriving for the 10th Group of 20 (G-20) Leaders' Summit yesterday.

The summit begins today with a session on the topic of inclusive growth, but much of the attention is likely to be focused on this evening's working dinner.

There, global challenges like terrorism and the refugee crisis, precipitated by the ongoing conflict in Syria next door, will be discussed.

Both issues gain renewed urgency in the light of the Paris attacks on Friday night, as well as bombings in the Turkish capital Ankara on Oct 10, each of which left more than 100 people dead.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan personally made inspections of the summit venue here earlier this week, and was briefed on security measures. Some 11,000 police officers, 1,400 traffic police and 1,000 soldiers have been deployed for the summit.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan personally made inspections of the summit venue here earlier this week, and was briefed on security measures. Some 11,000 police officers, 1,400 traffic police and 1,000 soldiers have been deployed for the summit.

The Turkish military has also set up a round-the-clock air defence system to prevent possible missile or drone attacks, while coast guard ships have been deployed against possible threats from the sea.

More than 350 mobile cameras with licence plate-recording and face-recognition systems have also been installed on the highway between Antalya airport and the summit zone.

Each delegation has been assigned a security liaison officer. Leaders from 19 G-20 member countries and the European Union are attending the summit, alongside invited leaders from Spain, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Azerbaijan and Singapore.

Meanwhile, tourists are not allowed to stay in hotels in Antalya's Belek area over the summit period, and entry and exit points are controlled for 30 of the 46 hotels here.

The other 16 hotels are reserved for participants of business groups and non-government organisations, among others, reported Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah.

Turkey is the main entry point for foreign fighters trying to enter Syria to join militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

An anti-terror sweep in Antalya last week saw 20 people detained for suspected connections to ISIS.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 15, 2015, with the headline 'Tight security as G-20 summit begins'. Print Edition | Subscribe