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Turkey: Some migrants slip through as almost 10,000 stopped at Greek board

1 March, 2020

According to the Greek government, almost 10,000 immigrants were prevented from crossing into the country from Turkey on Saturday. Some were stopped at the gate, while some attempted to cut through the border fence or cross the river.

It was reported that thousands of immigrants in Turkey rushed to the border with Greece after the government in Ankara announced this week that it will no longer stop them. Athens responded by closing the border crossing and deploying riot police and soldiers to halt the wave.

Around 9,600 attempts were made to cross the border on Saturday alone, Greek Deputy Defense minister Alkiviadis Stefanis told the media. The UN’s International Organization for Migration estimated that as many as 13,000 people flocked to the border area in Turkey’s Edirne province.

According to the Turkish Interior Minister, Suleyman Soylu, he tweeted that, as of Sunday morning, 76,358 people “have left Turkish borders through Edirne for Europe since Friday”.

Regardless of statements from either side, reports on the ground show that some at least have managed to find their way beyond the fence, which was erected several years ago by Greece along the land portion of the border in the wake of the migrant crisis. The barbed wire barrier is somewhat difficult to pass through even with the help of cutting tools, but there is no shortage of people willing to make the attempt.

Others try their luck at the Evros river, which makes up the bigger part of the Turkish-Greek border. Greek patrols are on the lookout for trespassers.

Yunan askerleri, botla karşıya geçebilen mültecilerin etrafını çevirdi. Botla karşıya geçmeye çalışan diğer mültecilere de “Go back” diye bağırıyorlar.

Ankara opened the floodgates of asylum seekers on Europe amid an escalation of hostilities in Syria’s Idlib province. Turkey said it faced a new influx of “millions” of refugees from Syria and was no longer able to contain them, especially since the EU “failed” on its commitments under the deal sealed with Turkey to curb the migrant crisis almost four years ago.

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