Turkey is deploying 1,000 special police forces along its border with Greece on Thursday to halt the pushback of migrants toward its territory, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said. He claimed that 164 migrants had been wounded by Greek authorities.
“They wounded 164 people. They tried to push 4,900 people back to Turkey,” Soylu told reporters in the northwestern border province of Edirne. “We are deploying 1,000 special force police to the border system… to prevent the push-back,” he said.
The deployment comes after Erdogan’s controversial criticism of Greece, claiming that Greece has ‘no right’ to stop accepting asylum applications.
President Tayyip 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.
Ankara has been widely criticised for trying to “blackmail” the EU by opening its borders to thousands of migrants and refugees seeking to flee to Europe.
Greece has made clear its borders are shut. It has sent military and police reinforcements to the area, which have used tear gas and water cannon to repel mass attempts by migrants to cross into the country. Authorities have also set up cordons of police and army checks on and near the border, arresting those who managed to make it through.
Sourced by: Reuters