Thirteen Greek Truck Drivers Stranded on Iraqi-Turkish Border Due to Coronavirus Fears

March 10, 2020

ATHENS – Thirteen Greek truck drivers remained trapped at the Iraqi-Turkish border on Tuesday, after Turkish authorities barred their entry into Turkey as part of the measures to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus.

Truck driver Kostas Antoniou, speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency radio station “Praktoreio 104.9 FM”, said that he had been stuck in the region for six days, while other drivers had been there even longer.

“After we unloaded our goods at Erbil, the coronavirus issue emerged and Turkey closed the border with Iraq. Only Turkish vehicles go through, returning to their country, while the rest of us are stuck here without any information about what is going to happen. There are 13 drivers from Greece and next to us is a truck from Moldova. There are not many vehicles that make these trips, they are not easy trips,” Antoniou said.

“We need about three days to reach the Greek-Turkish border. We have proposed going to the border with an escort, so that we can be supervised, since the truck essentially acts like quarantine. We also proposed disinfecting the trucks and taking tests…the problem is that we have not been given any reply and we now have a financial problem. We need to get home to our families, who need us,” he added.

Antoniou said that the Erbil general consul had been in contact with Turkey, as far as he knew, but stressed the need for official information from the State.


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