Turkey is shepherding thousands of migrants to its border with Europe, Greece claims, citing satellite photographs showing large numbers of people on the move.
There are thousands of people being moved to the Greek border from within the Turkish interior, a Greek government spokesman has said, just weeks after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government warned he would be reopening the migration floodgates after the coronavirus pandemic had calmed.
Over 50,000 Migrants Denied Entry to Greece Since Turkey Opened Border https://t.co/kLXSMw5EDU
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 17, 2020
In remarks reported by London’s The Times newspaper a cited Greek government source said of the changes within Turkey: “We have noticed some suspicious movements… As a result we have ordered a heightened alert for the next few days during the Easter holiday.”
The same official continued to say that Turkey had been attempting to “blackmail” Greece and Europe by weaponising mass migration.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said authorities now “have seen signs of activity” across the border and would “continue to do whatever it takes to defend our sovereign rights and guard the borders of Greece and Europe”. The wires service reported Greece was preparing for new migrant movements on the Aegean Sea in the eastern Mediterranean.
After Triggering Migrant Crisis 2.0, Turkey Closes European Border… Because of Coronavirus https://t.co/E1SfBSsYyl
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 20, 2020
Europe’s maritime and land border with Asia at the Turkish frontier was the main flashpoint of the 2016 migrant crisis, which saw more than a million people enter Europe — predominantly from Africa and the Middle East — and largely settle in the wealthier, high-welfare northern states like Germany, France, and Sweden.
The region looked likely to host a second crisis in early 2020, when the Turkish government opened its borders, allowing thousands of migrants to again cross into Europe. The borders had originally been closed after the 2016 migrant crisis through a big-money deal where Ankara would promise to regulate and close the migrant flow in return for billions of Euros in cash from the European Union, as well as other giveaways like accelerating Turkey’s membership of the Union.
Yet Erdogan repeatedly complained the EU had not kept its side of the bargain, frequently threatening to open the border if demands were not met. Those threats were made good in February when Turkey opened the gates once again, with Erdogan warning Europe to expect millions to cross the border.
As Breitbart London reported in March, while Turkey stopped the flow of migrants a month later, it was with the warning the border would again open when the coronavirus pandemic had ended.
Turkey: Migrants Will Return to Border After Coronavirus Outbreak Ends https://t.co/GgmAVC19Cv
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 31, 2020