World leaders will be heading to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast for the 2015 G-20 Summit on November 15 and 16.
This will be the 10th edition of the meeting - a gathering of heads of state and institutions of 19 major economies and the European Union.
Turkey has been preparing for the G-20 Summit for a year - since it took over the G-20 term presidency from Australia in 2014.
The country has enough experience hosting international forums and events, but the magnitude of a G-20 meeting is different.
The 13,000 people expected in Antalya represent 85 percent of the global economy… Very important people are heading this way.
And that becomes clear shortly after you land at Antalya’s international airport.
A whole terminal has been reserved for G-20 arrivals. And staff are working double shift.
Security measures: on the ground, in the air and on the sea
Turkey has implemented a wide set of security measures to keep world leaders under protection during the summit.
Turkish Armed Forces and the National Intelligence Organisation have worked together on setting up a security strategy for the event.
There are 12,000 security officials deployed. That includes traffic police as well plain clothes personnel and all the uniformed staff one sees every twenty meters on some of Antalya’s main roads.
Yes. Every twenty meters.
Members of Turkish security forces are stationed all over the Belek district - where the meetings and round tables will take place.
Belek has been locked down. Nobody enters without a pass or accreditation. There are checkpoints everywhere - I counted four to get from the plane to my hotel room yesterday.
But Belek is distant enough from the city centre not to completely alter life for those who live here.
In fact, a short trip to the old town will make you forget all about the world’s problems and show you all the tranquillity Antalya can offer - but that’s a topic for a whole other blog post (tomorrow’s).
Along with ground forces, surveillance aircraft and Turkish fighters jets will provide protection from above.
The United States - that recently deployed F-15 warplanes to Turkey’s Incirlik Airbase - have reportedly offered a hand in securing the summit.
The US President, Barack Obama, as well as other leaders, will also be protected from the sea by Turkish Navy vessels and the guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook.
The Governor of Antalya, Muammer Turker, said the city has “never experienced anything like it.”
Author: Anelise Borges