1,000 special police forces sent to stop migrants turning back along border with Greece
1,000 Turkish special police forces have been deployed to the country’s border with Greece to stop the flood of migrants – sent by the regime to illegally breach the European Union – from turning around and heading back into Turkey.
The move by President Tayyip Erdogan’s government was announced Thursday by Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.
Erdogan’s regime is seeking to stop thousands upon thousands of migrants from making their way back to Turkish territory if they fail to illegally cross the Greek border – the gateway to the EU, Reuters reports.
The latest push from Turkey follows violent scenes at the Greek-Turkish border as neighboring EU nations have united to help Greece defend its frontier.
Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia pledged to help Greece to deal with mounting pressure along its border.
Greek authorities have been struggling to cope with the influx as tens of thousands of migrants continue to flood crossing points to illegally enter the EU from Turkey.
Soylu’s comments come amid a war of words between Ankara and Athens following Turkey’s decision to no longer abide by a 2016 deal with the European Union.
The deal was meant to halt illegal migration flows to Europe in return for billions of euros in aid.
Since then, thousands of migrants have rushed to the Turkish border with Greece in hopes of crossing into Europe.
Ankara has accused Greek authorities of shooting dead and injuring migrants near the border.
Athens has rejected this, saying Turkish police were helping migrants cross the border illegally.
Speaking to reporters in the northwestern border province of Edirne, Soylu said Greek police had wounded the scores of migrants trying to cross the border.
“They wounded 164 people. They tried to push 4,900 people back to Turkey,” he said.
“We are deploying 1,000 special force police to the border system… to prevent the push-back.”
Turkey, locked in a military conflict with Moscow and Damascus in northwest Syria, hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees and has said it cannot handle more.
It wants the EU to more forcefully back its efforts in Syria and deliver more funds to care for the nearly one million displaced there.
President Erdogan met with EU officials on Wednesday to discuss developments in Syria and the migrants flooding the European borders.
Erdogan’s spokesman later said “no concrete proposition” on the migrants was made at the talks.