Over 50,000 Migrants Denied Entry to Greece Since Turkey Opened Border

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Ismail Coskun/IHA via AP

Since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened the gates to Greece in late February, Greek authorities say 52,541 migrants have attempted to cross the border.

Hundreds of migrants have attempted to cross illegally into Greece on a daily basis since the Turkish leader confirmed an earlier report that he would be opening the border to Greece for all migrants on Saturday, February 29th.

Between Sunday and Monday alone this week, a total of 713 migrants attempted to cross into the European Union member state, according to a report from Greek newspaper Proto Thema.

The paper added that between Saturday the 29th of February and Monday the 16th of March, 52,541 migrants attempted to cross the border and 410 people have been arrested by Greek authorities as a result.

The large presence of migrants at the border region near the Evros river has led to repeated violent clashes between migrants and Greek border guards, as well.

The Turkish government has not only been accused of bussing in migrants to the area by the Greek centre-right government but also of arming them with tear gas canisters along with sending freed prisoners to the border, as well.

Last week, Greek media released several videos highlighting the violence on the border including footage of migrants throwing Molotov cocktails at border guards.

The footage also claimed to show tear gas being fired at Greek officers, attacks that have been countered by Greece with the deployment of large fans to blow the gas back in the direction of the Turkish border.

Some European Union member state leaders such as Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, have supported Greek policy in securing the border and have sent their own personnel to the area.

Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, however, has slammed Greece for suspending asylum claims after Erdogan opened the border, saying: “Individuals in the European Union have the right to apply for asylum. This is in the treaty, this is in international law. This we can’t suspend.”

The comment comes after the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) also criticised the Greek government earlier in the month and said the suspension of asylum was not legal.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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