Greece accuses Turkey of forcing illegal migrants to cross border
Greek-Turkish tension on different fronts is on the rise.
Turkey, under the threat of violence, is forcing illegal migrants to cross the border with Greece, Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi said on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, Mitarakis visited the reception and identification center for migrants in the Greek region of Evros. Last week, 35 Syrian and three Palestinian migrants were spotted on an islet in the Evros river at the border with Turkey. A 5-year-old girl died after being stung by a scorpion.
"According to their [migrants’] statements, they entered Greek territory on August 14, hid for a day, and then came out. When they were discovered by the Greek authorities, they were immediately transferred here to the outpost, we provided medical assistance, and they are all in very good condition. One pregnant woman was taken to the hospital as a precaution," Mitarachi told reporters.
He added that Turkish authorities arrested these migrants in Turkey, brought them to the banks of the Evros River, and forced them to cross the border and enter Greece.
Mitarachi noted that Greece will work with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent to find the body of the child.
On Monday, Mitarachi said that Greece does not intend to change its tough policy toward migrants. According to him, the Greeks have felt the consequences of the policy of open borders and now demand the protection of the borders, as required by international law.
Read more: Greece: Migrant boat sinks, leaving up to 50 people missing
Nearly 4 million Syrian refugees currently live in Turkey, many of whom face poor conditions, amid racist calls by opposition parties and some popular circles to deport Syrians from the country.
They have been subjected to systematic violence and discrimination as they are accused of causing the economic crisis that Turkey is experiencing, under the rule of the Islamist-oriented Justice and Development Party.
Recently, fears have been growing regarding Turkey's plan to repatriate one million Syrians back to their country.
Pro-government outlet Turkiye reports the "safe, honourable and voluntary" return of Syrian refugees in Turkey is being discussed in ongoing talks between Ankara, Syria, Iran and Russia.https://t.co/vRjgs5pZ0k— William Armstrong (@WJ_Armstrong) August 16, 2022
Whether the conditions for repatriation will be safe or not remains unknown.
Read more: Two migrants die after Greek guards throw them in sea: Report