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

Germany: Turkey should stop illegal activities against Cyprus and Greece

If Turkey wishes to have a new customs union with the EU it should cease illegal activities against Cyprus and Greece, Ulrike Demmer Germany’s...

Turkey extends exploration in disputed Mediterranean waters to Oct. 27

Turkey said late on Wednesday it extended the stay of its Oruc Reis survey vessel and two other ships in a disputed area of...

Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

More than 41.03 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,126,935​ have died, according to a Reuters...

Partly cloudy on Thursday, 30 C inland

Partly cloudy on Thursday with isolated local showers early in the afternoon inland and in the mountains. Winds will be light to moderate in the...

127 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday

The Health Ministry announced 127 new COVID-19 cases on 21 October, out of 3,309 laboratory tests, taking confirmed infections to 2, 966. The break-down of...

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...