Greece is pointing the finger of blame for the increased numbers of Muslim illegal aliens flowing into the the Evros region from Turkey due to the easing of vigilance by Turkish border authorities…not to mention Italy’s new policies that have shut down the ports to NGO so-called migrant rescue boats.
Ekathimerini “There is very strong pressure at the Evros border while at the same time direct contact between local authorities in Greece and Turkey has stopped, which is making the problem worse,” a senior official at the Citizens’ Protection Ministry told Kathimerini. Meanwhile, reports that some 500,000 Afghans have recently entered Turkey from Iran and Iraq have sparked fears they could be heading for Greece.
Gatestone Greece is currently facing a serious surge in undocumented migrant arrivals in the Evros region, an entry point for migrants illegally trying to enter the country from Turkey. Arrivals have roughly doubled since 2017, and Athens is holding Ankara responsible.
The influx from places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Bangladesh and African countries into Turkey reportedly has been on the rise in recent months, with 1.5 million people from Muslim countries waiting on the Iranian border to enter Turkey. This has sparked fears in Athens that they could be heading for Greece.
According to a fact sheet released last month by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), “Sea arrivals [in Greece] peaked this month with 4,000 people. Land arrivals through Evros also increased to 1,400.”
As a result, the Greek city of Thessaloniki is in crisis. According to a recent article in The Greek Reporter, “Dozens of migrants have turned Aristotelous square in the center of Thessaloniki to a makeshift camp,” with many “sleeping in the open.”
This situation is likely to deteriorate even further, not only in Greece, but in the rest of Europe, with the massive number of new arrivals, particularly from Afghanistan, via Iran, into Turkey.
It appears that a highly organized international network of various actors — including smuggling and trafficking groups, international organizations and even governments, such as that of Turkey — are involved or complicit in the mass illegal movement and abuse of a large number of people.
Turkish authorities repeatedly have threatened Europe with an influx of migrants. In November 2016, for instance, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan openly stated:
“When 50,000 refugees headed to Kapıkule [at the Turkey-Bulgaria border], you shrieked: ‘What will we do if Turkey opens it border gates?’ Look at me! If you go too far, we will open those border gates. Just know this.”