News World Greece tightens border with Turkey as migrants approach

Greece tightens border with Turkey as migrants approach

Greece tightened border controls on Friday, sending security forces to hold back migrants heading for the country by land and sea after Turkey warned that it would no longer prevent refugees from leaving.

Greece was the main gateway for hundreds of thousands of refugees, many fleeing fighting in Syria, who streamed out of neighhbouring Turkey in 2015 and 2016 until a deal with the EU stemmed the flow.

Greece sent more police to its northern border and increased maritime patrols around its islands on Friday, after Turkey said it would let out thousands of refugees stuck in the country by the 2016 deal.

A senior Turkish official said Turkey would no longer stop Syrian refugees from reaching Europe, in a response by Ankara to the killing of 33 Turkish soldiers in an air strike in Syria.

At one land crossing, police buses were seen denying access to dozens of people, including families with children, who had gathered in no man’s land between Pazarkule in Turkey and Kastanies in northeastern Greece.

“They will not enter the country. They are irregular migrants, we won’t let them enter,” a Greek government official told Reuters.

Hundreds had arrived at the Kastanies crossing by the evening. Authorities have shut the customs office, a defence ministry official said.

Earlier on Friday, more than 60 migrants, most of them from Aghanistan, arrived on dinghies at the island of Lesbos, a Reuters witness said. Another boat carrying about 50 people reached the island of Samos, police said.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis discussed the movement of migrants towards Greece with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“I want to be clear: no illegal entries into Greece will be tolerated. We are increasing our border security,” he tweeted.

Greece had already said on Thursday it would tighten border controls to prevent coronavirus reaching its Aegean islands, where thousands of migrants are living in poor conditions.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Man catches arsonist dousing his car

  A man in Yeroskipou caught a man red handed dousing his car with liquid, which he subsequently discovered was flammable material. The incident happened...

Man bites hand of police officer checking SMS movement

  A man bit a police officer's hand as he was randomly checked for using an SMS for movement during the second week of the...

Covid assessment leads to change in country travel categories as of Jan.18

  The Epidemiological Monitoring Unit has reassessed the epidemiological conditions in certain countries as related to the travelling to and from Cyprus. The reassessment was based...

Dozens fined for covid violations as quarantine enters second week

  79 individuals and six businesses were charged for covid-19 violations over the past 24 hours, as the quarantine entered its 2nd week, with authorities...

17 year old Covid patient at Famagusta General

  A 17 year old teenage girl, the youngest to have been infected in the second wave of the pandemic, is being treated at Famagusta...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...