Thousands of new migrants have flocked to the European Union. Erdogan warns that there will be millions of them.
Turkey has opened its border with the European Union to Syrian refugees and thousands of new migrants have poured into Greece. The authorities of the country have already detained ten thousand people by force and say they will send them back.
For refugees who flock to the Turkish-Greek border, the route to the European Union is closed, said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert. Correspondent.net tells the details.
Erdogan opens Pandorah’s migration box
Turkish leader Recep Erdogan has made one of his main threats, which has been repeatedly voiced against the European authorities: to open the way for Syrian refugees in the EU.
In 2015, millions of refugees reached Greece and Italy, from which they headed further north, and many of them still live in camps for displaced persons.
For four years, the European Union relied on Turkey as a border guard to deter refugees and other migrants, but Erdogan unilaterally annulled the 2016 agreement.
Turkey has taken this step, explaining that it is not coping alone with the influx of migrants. Some 3.7 million Syrians have already taken refuge in the country, as well as refugees from Afghanistan and some other countries.
Under the terms of the agreement with the European Union, the Turkish authorities promised not to let them go further in exchange for financial assistance in the spread of six billion euros, visa-free regime and the resumption of negotiations on Turkey’s accession to the EU. The last two punks were not executed.
Refugees and migrants at the EU border are a political tool for the Turkish president. Perhaps this is how Erdogan, who is at an impasse in many areas of foreign policy, wants more support in the Syrian war.
Ankara has launched a new operation in Idlib province, where it is fighting for the first time with Bashar al-Assad’s government army and is on the verge of a new war with Russia. This is detailed in the article of the Russian-Turkish conflict: what is happening in Syria.
About 3.5 million refugees are in the Turkish-border province of Idlib. Already several hundred thousand of them began to move to the Turkish border because of the new fighting.
So far, Greece has mobilized 1,300 officers and more than 50 patrol boats to counter the infiltration of illegal immigrants.
The refugees tried to throw stones at The Greek police, but responded with volleys of water cannons, stun grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas.
According to the Greek authorities, almost 20,000 attempts to cross the border illegally were prevented from Saturday morning until Monday morning. Seventeen people have already been sentenced in Greece to three and a half years in prison for trespassing.
THE European External Border Protection Agency FRONTEX at the same time prepared a report for EU leaders, which reports that it will be difficult to stop migrants even if the Turkish authorities prevent them. Apparently, the situation will only get worse in the coming days.
Meanwhile, about a thousand migrants have already been able to reach the Greek islands by the sea – through the waters of the Aegean Sea. First of all, we are talking about the island.
The EU is still hoping for a diplomatic solution to the conflict and urging Turkey to comply with the terms of the agreement.
On Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a telephone conversation with Erdogan, in which he demanded a “distribution of the load” in the refugee situation. According to his administration, Turkey calls for a “fair distribution of the burden and responsibility towards migrants” between Turkey and the EU.
Merkel, speaking in Berlin on Monday, called it unacceptable for Turkey to open the border to refugees in the direction of the EU. According to the Chancellor, it is understandable that Ankara wants to achieve more support for the European Union in this matter, but it is “completely unacceptable” that this goal is being sought “on the backs of refugees”.
German government spokesman Steffen Seibert, for his part, said the route was closed for migrants.
“We are now experiencing a situation on the external borders of the European Union and Turkey, on land and at sea, a situation that is of serious concern. We see refugees and migrants to whom the Turkish side has said that their way to the EU is open, which is certainly not true,” Seibert said.
The next day, Erdogan announced that millions of Syrian refugees would soon be sent to the European Union.
“Since we opened our borders, the number of those who have gone to Europe has been hundreds of thousands. This number will soon be expressed in millions of figures,” the Turkish leader said.
The European Union has promised Greece and Bulgaria assistance in defending the common border of a united Europe. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised Athens 700 million euros after a visit to Greece.
On March 5, a meeting of eu Union foreign ministers is scheduled to be held in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, convened at the request of Greece.