Some 150,600 migrants and refugees succeeded to enter Greece by land or sea since Feb. 28 when Turkey announced that it will not prevent migrants from trying to cross over the border to Europe anymore, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Thursday.
He also reported that nearly 4,600 migrants are still waiting near the Pazarkule border gate in Turkey’s western province Edirne.
It has been almost a month since migrants and refugees moved toward the Greek border to enter the European Union but were blocked by Greek security forces, who used tear gas, bullets and water cannons against those trying to cross.
Despite an onslaught of attacks and rough measures by Greek police and border authorities, migrants and refugees have continued to wait amid bleak conditions on the border for 28 days, in the hope that Greece will open the doors to asylum in the EU.
Turkey's decision to open the border came after 34 Turkish soldiers were killed by forces of the Bashar Assad regime in Idlib in northwestern Syria. Turkish soldiers had been stationed in the area to protect local civilians as part of a 2018 deal with Russia forbidding acts of aggression within a certain delineation.
The latest humanitarian crisis in Idlib, caused by Assad's attacks on civilian-populated areas, has forced nearly 1 million people to move near the Turkish border for refuge. The renewed attacks risked another wave of migration to Turkey, which already hosts 3.7 million Syrian refugees and says it cannot take in any more.
In response to the lack of humanitarian and financial aid from the international community and the attack on Turkish soldiers, Ankara began allowing refugees to migrate toward Europe through land borders several weeks ago. Since then, thousands of migrants and refugees have flocked to the Turkish province of Edirne along the border with Greece and Bulgaria to make their way into Europe.
Many have been camping near the Turkish side of the border, despite Greece's insistence that its border is closed. Greece has been widely criticized for using excessive force, including the firing of water cannons and tear gas to repel incoming migrants.
The Human Rights Watch urged Greece and the EU to respect human rights in its response to Turkey's new policy of not stopping migrants and refugees trying to leave for Greece. The international human rights group also criticized a decision by Athens to suspend new asylum applications until April and summarily deport those arriving in the last month's surge. Also, inhumane conditions in Greece’s refugee camps have been another point heavily criticized.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.