Turkey

147,132 asylum seekers pass through Turkey-Greek border

In past 2 weeks, 3 asylum seekers die, many wounded due to Greek security forces' attacks

Salih Baran   | 17.03.2020
147,132 asylum seekers pass through Turkey-Greek border

EDIRNE, Turkey

Since Feb. 27, some 147,132 asylum seekers have crossed to Greece through two control points in Edirne, Turkey's western border, and transits are still underway, according to an official statement on Tuesday.

The statement by Edirne governorate said: "Three asylum seekers have died, 214 have been wounded in Greek security forces' attacks with gas and blast bombs, rubber bullets and live ammunition on asylum seekers.

"206 have recovered and discharged from hospitals after treatment, while eight of them are still under treatment. During this period, 7,096 asylum seekers have been hospitalized due to various reasons, and received medical care."

Families of three people who died, and one of the wounded have applied to the European Court of Human Rights, while other 25 wounded asylum seekers are in legal application process, closely followed by the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, it added.

Asylum seekers have been waiting on the Greek border for the last 19 days to cross through Edirne to reach Europe. Greek security forces use disproportionate force on asylum seekers, with tear gas, pressurized water and live ammunition.

More than 10,000 asylum seekers spend their nights in tents struggling under harsh conditions as the weather gets colder.

Last month, Turkey opened its borders for asylum seekers seeking a way to Europe, accusing the EU of failing to keep promises under a 2016 migrant deal.

Ankara also warned that due to incessant attacks on civilians in Idlib, Syria, 1 million refugees are moving toward Turkey’s borders.

With 3.7 million Syrian migrants in Turkey already, more than any other country in the world, Ankara says it cannot absorb another refugee wave.


* Writing by Firdevs Bulut in Ankara.

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