Turkey Accuses Greece of Firing on Migrants; One Dead, Several Injured

  • Turkey has accused Greek police officers of using live ammunition on some migrants who were trying to cross the border.
  • "The international community must focus on its efforts on Syria not Greece!"
  • Erdogan is asking the U.S. for help and hopes for a ceasefire in Idlib.

Tensions between Turkey and Greece remain high after Ankara decided last week to open its borders with Europe. In order to find a solution as soon as possible, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell continues his tour of the Turkish capital.

Idlib Governorate is one of the 14 governorates (provinces) of Syria. In 2011, the Governorate was taken over by rebel militias, who have controlled it since then.

According to the EU, it is necessary to “restore cooperation” with Erdogan. Turkey has made serious accusations, not only against Athens but also against other European countries, accusing them of allowing migrants, including children, to drown in the sea. Erdogan has also called for action in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Greek Police Shoot at the Border

Turkey has accused Greek police officers of using live ammunition on some migrants who were trying to cross the border with Turkey in the area of the Pazarkule Pass. This was according to a Turkish reporter on the spot, who spoke about one dead and “several wounded” among the migrants who were looking for passage through the camps. The wounded were loaded into ambulances and taken to Turkish hospitals. The death was also confirmed by the prefect of the Turkish border province of Edirne, who accused Athens police of “shooting with real bullets.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Greece, as well as other European countries, to act in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Meanwhile, Turkish Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu tweeted that almost 136,000 migrants left for Greece after Turkey decided to open its borders with Europe. Migrants used the Turkish border crossing point in the northwestern province of Edirne to try to reach Greece by sea.

In Turkey, the population of Syrian refugees is estimated to be around 3.0 million, with many more who are unregistered, of whom 260,000 live in the 22 camps, as of May 2017. The camps, also known as Temporary Accommodation Centers or Temporary Protection Centers (TPCs), are run by the government-led Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) with the support of the United Nations and NGO partners.

Turkey: The EU should focus on Syria, not Greece

The European Union and the international community as a whole should focus on Syria, not Greece, to try to solve the migration problem and alleviate the suffering of refugees, according to the Turkish government. Fahrettin Altun, a spokesman for the Turkish President, said on Twitter. “We have mobilized our national economic and military resources. The EU is still only focused on migration into Europe!” Altun added,

“Europe and the international community must be mobilized to help with the continuing humanitarian suffering inside Syria. The regime continues to be belligerent and dangerous and must be stopped. The international community must focus on its efforts on Syria not Greece!”

Europe, he said, is trying to help Greece because it is seen as a new frontier that needs to be strengthened to avoid an “invasion” of Europe by refugees. “Greece treats refugees horribly and then turns around to blame Turkey. This is the kind of double standards and hypocrisy we have gotten used to over the years.”  He added, “the country that just suspended temporary protection and tear gassed migrations has no moral authority to speak of!”

Erdogan is asking the U.S. for help and hopes for a ceasefire in Idlib. Meanwhile, Erdogan said he has asked the U.S. to help Idlib by sending weapons and ammunition after U.S. Special Envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey’s visit. Erdogan also hopes for an early ceasefire in the Syrian city as a result of tomorrow’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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