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.
“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.”
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.
WATCH: Turkey Arms Migrants with Tear Gas, Sends Freed Prisoners to Border, Claims Greek Government https://t.co/Y7F6saZiTA
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 6, 2020