x

Society

Turkey Opens Gates for Refugees, Migrants to Reach Greece, EU

February 28, 2020

ANKARA – A Syrian airstrike that killed 33 Turkish soldiers who had invaded the northern Idlib region led Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to lift an alleged bar on refugees and migrants from heading to the European Union, with hundreds heading toward Greece and Bulgaria.

There are some 5.5 million of them in Turkey, where they had gone fleeing war and strife in their homelands, especially Afghanistan and war-torn Syria and Turkey has let human traffickers keep sending them to Greek islands during an essentially-suspended 2016 swap deal with the EU.

Greece is holding about 100,000, including 42,000 on islands near Turkey where the situation has become explosive, with residents protesting New Democracy plans for centers aimed at sorting out those not eligible for asylum.

Hundreds of migrants walked through northwest Turkey toward its borders with Greece and Bulgaria on Feb. 28, Turkish media reported, after a senior official said Turkey will no longer try to stop Syrian refugees from reaching Europe although they had been allowed.

An official not named told the news agency Reuters that Turkish police, Coast Guard and border security officials had been ordered to allow refugees’ land and sea crossings towards Europe, anticipating more coming from Idlib.
Turkey’s Demiroren news agency said there were around 300 migrants, including women and children, in the group which began heading towards the borders with Greece and Bulgaria at a land crossing.

Syrians, Iranians, Iraqis, Pakistanis and Moroccans were among those in the group, it said, adding that migrants gathered on the western Turkish coastal district of Ayvacik in Canakkale province with the aim of travelling by boat to Greece’s Lesbos island where there are already some 20,000 and where violence has been erupting.

Reuters could not independently confirm who the people were nor where they were headed. Video footage of the migrants broadcast by pro-government Turkish television channels could also not immediately be verified, the news agency said.

Erdogan has repeatedly threatened to open the gates to Europe, mostly through Greece’s land borders and over the Aegean to Greek islands where the situation is rapidly worsening, leaving Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis scrambling for answers.

Turkish broadcaster NTV showed scores of people walking through fields wearing backpacks and said the refugees had tried to cross the Kapikule border into Bulgaria, but were not allowed through.

The group, it was said, then walked through fields to reach the Pazarkule border crossing into Greece, but it was unclear what happened to them thereafter.

Refugees and migrants did arrive on a dinghy accompanied by vessels from the EU border patrol Frontex, landing at the village of Skala Sikaminia on Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey, the Associated Press also said.

Greece tightened sea and land borders with Turkey and sources not identified told the news agency the government had also contacted the EU and NATO, the defense alliance to which both countries belonged and hasn’t tried to stop Turkish provocations.

RELATED

ATHENS -A year after a vessel crammed with as many as 750 refugees and migrants sank in international waters near Greece, no real progress has been reported in a mostly secret investigation Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International complained.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

1 of 2 Abducted Louisiana Children is Found Dead in Mississippi after Their Mother is Killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said.

Licensing your intellectual property rights (IP) to a third-party as an additional source of revenue through the commercial exploitation of your IP or for expansion purposes can be an effective strategy to grow your business and extend your reach.

Cyprus and the European Parliament weren’t ready for Fidias Panayiotou, who had no qualifications to run for a seat in the 720-member body, which made him more qualified than most of the people in there.

To the Editor: Greeks are well aware that U.

Joseph Kenworthy was a British member of parliament who disliked and distrusted prime minister David Lloyd George’s Near East foreign policy and support of the Greeks.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.