Turkey and Greece have been disputing over the territorial boundaries for decades, but things are heating up in recent weeks on the current refugee and migrant crisis that has almost led to Turkey-Greece border riots.
The recent episode began when Turkey allowed entry of migrants into EU boundary. According to media reports clashes broke out between Syrian refugees from Turkey and Greek police on Saturday when former made attempts to enter Greece.
What is the reason of Turkey-Greece border riots?
It all began when 33 Turkish soldiers were killed as a result of bombardment by Syrian government forces in Idlib northern Syria. After the deadly clash in Syria Turkey not only demanded NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) to help, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also threatened to open the Greece border and let refugees enter the Europe.
Turkey is the home of some 4 million refugees including 3.6 million Syrians. Communication Chief of Turkey reportedly stated that the country had not received enough support in hosting millions of Syrian refugees. President Erdogan has demanded for more support from Europe and said it can no longer cope with the refugee influx from Syria.
Turkey decided to ease the border restrictions after targeting Russian backed Syrian Government in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province. That offense lead to a rush of millions of Syria civilians escaping towards Turkey’s sealed boarder.
On the other heand Europe Union (EU) is insists on keeping the aid-link deal 216 in which it gave Turkey 6 billion euros in refugee aid in return for keeping refugees on its soil. after the millions entered Europe in 2015.
After Turkey removed its border restrictions with Greece on February 29, thousands of people began to make their way towards the Greece border. Turk government not only lifted border restriction but also allegedly shuttled hundreds of migrants from the center of Istanbul to the Turkish land border with Greece — for free. Thus, the situation lead to Turkey- Greece border riots.
Europe’s reaction on Turkey-Greece border situation
The president of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen hasexpressed sympathy on situation by referring it a “difficult Situation”. She has also termed decision of Turk President as “unacceptable”.
It has been reported that Turk President Erdogan spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the phone Friday, telling her the Turkey-EU migration deal was no longer working and needed to be reviewed, according to his office.
How Greek Authority dealt with refugee’s Influx
Greek authorities responded with inhuman measures by firing tear gas that violated the EU and international law. After many clashes desperate migrants tried to break through the fence, who responded by throwing stones and then peacefully shouting “open the gates”,
The several attempts to break the border fence by the refugees, and fires were lit in an attempt to damage the barrier.
Journalists and critiques have different opinions on Turkey Greek border riots. A journalist Assad Hanna believes that Greek border police is torturing, humiliating and violating the refugees who crossed the river to Greece.
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Turkey also considers the behavior of Greece authorities unacceptable
Amnesty International said that it was deeply concerned over the handling of new arrival by Greece authorities.