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Greece accuses Turkey of pushing migrants into Greek territory

Greece has accused Turkey of pushing migrants into Greek territory. The accusations were made by Migrations & Asylum Minister Notis Mitarakis who visited the area of Evros river, a day after  police evacuated 38 migrants who were stranded on an islet in the natural border between the two countries. Wednesday afternoon, also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement in the same wavelength.

The recent incident concerning the promotion of asylum seekers from Turkey to Greece in the Evros area is yet another attempt by Turkey to instrumentalize the migrant-refugee issue and possibly create a border issue at the same time,” the ministry said in the statement.

During a visit to Evros on Tuesday, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said the group of 38 migrants – 35 Syrians and three Palestinians – arrived on the Turkish side of the river before they were forcefully pushed onto the islet by the Turkish authorities.

“Turkish authorities arrested these migrants inside Turkey, they did not give them the right to apply for international protection, as Turkey is bound to do by international law,” Minister Mitarakis said.

“The Turkish gendarmerie brought them to the bank of the Evros and, under the threat of violence, pressured them to come to Greece,” he added.

Mitarakis said further that, on the basis of the migrants’ testimonies, a 5-year-old child died on Turkish territory, adding that the government will work with Red Cross and Red Crescent officials so that the family can recover the body and hold a dignified funeral.

The

The Turkish authorities forced them to cross illegally into Greece. They arrested them and did not give them the right to apply for international protection as Turkey is bound to do by International Law.

— Νότης Μηταράκης – Notis Mitarachi (@nmitarakis) August 16, 2022

” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>little girl was stung by a scorpion and died, and it was provisionally buried after the group kept the body in the water for several days to avoid decomposition on shore.

The migrants had been trapped on the islet since August 7. After crossing the river on Monday, they were found in the Lavara area and taken to a Reception and Identification Center.

Despite the rescue calls by several NGO’s, Greek authorities were later to be active saying that the group were not on Greek territory. Ultimately, the groups consisting of 35 Syrians and three Palestinians managed to move to the Greek river bank, apparently with a dinghy provided by Turkish authorities via human traffickers.

A day before the migrants’ rescue, August 15, the Greek Police had announced that search in the area to locate the group was fruitless.

 

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