After Turkey announced last Friday the opening of borders for Syrian refugees to head to Europe, thousands of migrants and refugees gathered on Sunday at the western border of Turkey to try to enter Greece by land and by sea. There are reports of violent clashes between both parties, that is, refugees and Greek military personnel.
The President of Turkey opened the borders with Europe for the passage of migrants and refugees, adding that in the next few hours between 25,000 and 30,000 people could try to reach Greece.
After opening borders, the Greek authorities reported that they prevented nearly 10,000 migrants from crossing the borders in just 24 hours. Second the BBC, some migrants threw stones, metal bars and tear gas canisters when their passage was blocked. Situation to which the Greek forces responded with tear gas.
The Greek police said that at least 500 people, transported in seven boats, reached the islands of Lesbos, Samos and Chios, where the fields made to receive migrants are already overcrowded, unable to guarantee good sanitary conditions.
Meanwhile, Greece suspended new asylum applications for next month. On Twitter, Greek Prime Minister Kyriákos Mitsotákis invoked an emergency clause referring to a European Union treaty in order to "guarantee full European support".
Our national security council has taken the decision to increase the level of deterrence at our borders to the maximum. As of now we will not be accepting any new asylum applications for 1 month. We are invoking article 78.3 of the TFEU to ensure full European support.
– Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) March 1, 2020
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), about 13,000 people left Turkish territory for Greece, a country that refuses to open its doors to them, promising to strengthen border control and using tear gas to repel the hundreds of families trying to reach Europe through their territory.
Cited by Euronews, the Minister of Civil Protection of Greece, Michalis Chrisochoidis, ensures that “thousands of people are being held at our borders. They did not arrive here by chance, they were expelled by Turkey. Our neighboring country is exploiting them for its own benefit ”. The strengthening of security in the country does not only happen on the 200 kilometers of border, but also occurs at the level of maritime patrols that have increased significantly.