New wave of refugees directed towards Europe
After the defeat in Idlib, Ankara - with blackmail - opens the borders to Europe. Hundreds of thousands of refugees are heading to the northwestern borders and to the sea. Greek border guards use tear gas to drive refugees away. At least 15 Afghans have reached the island of Lesbos.
Istanbul (AsiaNews) - For nearly two days, a new wave of refugees has been advancing from Turkey towards European borders, trying to cross the Aegean Sea or going towards the north-western borders of the country.
This is following the Turkish government's decision not to stop refugees seeking to reach Europe within their borders. This decision was made immediately after the attack by Syrian forces on Idlib, which resulted in the death of 33 Turkish soldiers.
The Turkish foreign ministry said that "The latest developments in Idlib, which have caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, have further increased the migratory pressure present in our country".
According to the Ankara Interior Ministry, Turkey is home to 3.6 million refugees. Omer Celik, spokesman for the Akp Party in power, explained that "our refugee policy has not changed, but there is new data and we no longer have the capacity to contain refugees".
According to several analysts, the opening of the Turkish borders is the follow through on a threat by Ankara in an attmpt to blackmail Europe, for not having received support in its design for Idlib and the northern part of Syria.
According to the Cumhuriyet newspaper, hundreds of thousands of refugees are heading towards borders. Many left Aydin's camp by bus, hoping to cross Europe.
Refugees who tried to enter Greece by land were stopped yesterday at the Pazarkule (Kastanies) border: border guards used tear gas to disperse hundreds of refugees. The mayor of the border town said: "The Turkish soldiers they are supposed to check have vanished."