An essentially suspended European Union swap deal hasn’t keep Turkey for letting human traffickers keep sending migrants and refugees to Greece, with some preferring trying to cross a land border, instead of a perilous sea journey to Greek islands.
Dozens more hoping to follow the same route as many before them headed for the border after false reports it would be opened, said Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News, so that they wouldn’t have to try to cross the dangerous Evros River unlawfully.
That came after migrants and refugees already in Greece headed to the border with Northy Macedonia and stayed for three days after false social media reports said that would be opened as well, although the European Union has shut borders to refugees and migrants.
Migrants have been making their way via train and bus to the province of Edirne – which borders Greece – after hearing the false social media reports but got there to complain they weren’t being let through.
Turkish security forces detained more than 2,000 irregular migrants planning to cross to neighboring Greece, authorities told the paper as police and law enforcement forces tightened security measures and tried to secure Turkey’s borders from more migrants.
Thousands of migrants had gone to Edirne in 2015 after claims that Germany would accept migrants and that border crossings would be open. Turkey has been the main route for irregular migrants trying to cross into Europe, especially since 2011 when the Syrian civil war began.
Greece is awash with some 70,000 of them, people fleeing war and strife and going to Turkey as a jumping-off point to get to more prosperous EU countries only to find themselves stuck with borders shut, leading them to seek asylum in Greece.