PICTURES: Greek Border in Flames as Migrants Keep Trying to Break Through

border
(Photo by ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Dramatic pictures and video are emerging of fires raging along the border between Greece and Turkey, as migrants — aided and even armed by the Turks, according to the Greeks — continue their efforts to force their way in.

The European Union, including the United Kingdom, funnelled billions of euros to the Islamist government in Ankara in an effort to persuade it to bring the migrant crisis under a modicum of control after hundreds of thousands of illegal border crossings, often by sea, in 2015-16.

That deal unravelled at the end of February 2020, as Turkish president Reep Tayyip Erdogan announced migrants were free to pass through his country and into Europe, seemingly as punishment for the West’s failure to offer sufficient support to his invasion of Syria, which has become fraught with danger as his forces clash with the Russian-backed Syrian government in Idlib province.

 

border

Greeks riot police clash with migrants along the Greece-Turkey border in the village of Kastanies on March 6, 2020. (Photo by ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

 

border

Greeks riot police clash with migrants along the Greece-Turkey border in the village of Kastanies on March 6, 2020. (Photo by ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

 

border

A migrant man throws a rock at a Greek firetruck after migrants set a fire at the border fence during clashes between migrants and the Greek border guards along the border fence at Pazarkulke Border crossing on March 06, 2020 in Edirne, Turkey. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

“Right now, let’s be honest, the [EU-Turkey] agreement [on migration] is dead,” said Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in an interview with CNN.

“And it’s dead because Turkey has decided to completely violate the agreement, because of what happened in Syria,” he added.

Prime Minister Mitsotakis accused the Turkish government of having “systematically assisted, both at land and at sea, people in their effort to cross into Greece,” but vowed that “Europe is not going to be blackmailed over this problem by Turkey.”

border

A migrant throws tear gas at Greek police on the Turkish-Greek border in Pazarkule, Turkey, on Friday, March 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

border

A Greek firefighter stands amid clouds of tear gas at the Greece-Turkey border during clashes between migrants and riot police in the village of Kastanies on March 7, 2020. (Photo by ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

border

Greek police guard as migrants gather at a border fence on the Turkish side, during clashes at the Greek-Turkish border in Kastanies, Evros region, on Saturday, March 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

border

Migrants chant slogans as they demonstrate in the Turkey-Greece border buffer zone, near Pazarkule crossing gate in Edirne, Turkey, on March 6, 2020. (Photo by BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images)

border

Migrants demonstrate in the Turkey-Greece border buffer zone, near Pazarkule crossing gate in Edirne, Turkey, on March 6, 2020. (Photo by BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images)

border

Migrants demonstrate in the Turkey-Greece border buffer zone, near Pazarkule crossing gate in Edirne, Turkey, on March 6, 2020. (Photo by BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images)

Social media gives some indication of just how tense the situation on the Greek border has become, with video footage purporting to show Turkish police firing tear gas over the border at Greek police — in response to the Greeks firing tear gas at them, the Turks claim — and heavily armed soldiers from either country staring each down through border fencing as they patrol the frontier, just yards apart.

The history of relations between the two countries has been far from easy, with Greeks having inhabited what is now the Turkish heartland for more than a thousand years before the Turks arrived there, and Greeks continuing to comprise a very substantial minority of Turkey’s population right up until the 1920s — when a combination of war, genocide, and population exchange all but eliminated their presence.

Turkey continues to menace its much smaller neighbour down to the present day, laying claim to a number of Greek islands and violating Greek airspace and territorial waters hundreds or even thousands of times every year.

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery
Follow Breitbart London on Facebook: Breitbart London

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.