Greece fears border standoff with Turkey over migrants' return


Early March. The Turkish President Type other unsaid migrants were free to cross into Greece and announced. The border would be opened. Many thousands of people attempted to cross and were fired on with rubber bullets and teargas by both sides but then corona virus struck and Turkey sealed the frontier to the northwest leaving almost forty thousand refugees stranded in crowds cups in appalling conditions. Know as lockdown ends. Athens is concerned that the movement of migrants will begin again and has already reported that boats carrying migrants had landed on the island of Lesbos. Tensions between the two countries are increasing. Well Hannah listen to Smith is on the line from Istanbul. Hanna is this situation heading towards a new border crisis. Well several different people assistants warnings are one of them being Europol. Who earlier this month? Put out a report warning quite starkly that Turkey was likely to try to organize the movement migrants towards the Greek border again. Possibly using methods like we sort the end a separate beginning of March so Putting on buses for migrants from cities like Estan builds the border possibly by winding down his own border forces at lumbered with grace but says knee. I'm in the the evidence from the past week seems to show that After a hiatus of a couple of months during the coronavirus crisis we're starting to see the other crisis the Mexican crisis building up again. The Turkish Coast Guard rescued. Seventy two asylum-seekers. A Monday after they'd been turned back from Greek waters. And as you say the new arrivals starting down the islanders less Voss so I think certainly over the past couple of months. Everyone's attention has been diverted in clearly. Boards have been closed. But I think this is a crisis that hasn't gone away by any means and is the frontier opened on our their border controls in place. The frontier isn't open yet. I think that's something that we're going to see happening. I've the next few weeks Turkey's eastern border with Iran was likely open very very soon. The interesting thing is actually. It's over. This border the most of the migrants that trying to make their way to Europe and now coming then not necessarily coming from serious much anymore So I think especially we're going to see those See there's numbers stuff since built up again and don't forget there are already full million migrants intake. You're ready many of them. Desperate to get almost anywhere else in his a safe country in many respects but life is very very difficult for for people who don't have papers you don't have the right to work He didn't have the money to to find decent accommodation. So you know many people the jury Mr. Let's get to Europe. And of course there are many thousands of people still in the camps. What are the conditions like that? Yes the people. He made their way to the border. The border in March. She went the current virus outbreak started. They were taken by the Turkish authorities to Closed comes in other parts of Turkey. The texture authorities that was for a fourteen day quarantine periods and then they were then allowed to guy but on the Greek islands on the other side of the crisis. Those conditions are fairly appalling. I mean the Greek government has moved some people watch. Those comes as you said before. They're still moving. Search thousand people in those comes on the Greek islands. And let's not forget that comes of a never built to host people term. They were set a temporary hot spots. There are meant to just host people for a few days while they were registered while the details were taken in while there are moved on somewhere else sent back to Turkey and what they've turned into over the past four years is just holding pens incredibly squalid overflowing Insanitary I I think. The beginning of the coronavirus crisis really concern was the the virus was gonNA re ripped through those calms Muscles that hasn't happened. There's been some cases particularly unless voss but but luckily it seems to have escaped the ravages of Corona virus. But that doesn't take away from the fact that that is so incredibly incredibly dangerous and summitry places for the people living in AN MP in the governing New Democracy party's accused Turkey of trying to weaponize the refugee situation to he says extract European support for its geopolitical goals. What are those goals? And how will encouraging migrants to cross into Greece further turkeys ends? Y'All I think is is fairly clear that you need to take years trying to weaponize. Refugees nuts becomes more more overt in recent of course culminating and what we saw in February really presentations aims to fold on one hundred those domestic aims. So it's never been particularly popular among Turkish people to have such a large number of refugees overwhelmingly Syrian refugees in the country. There have been complaints about this from particularly from opposition parties. Right from the start of the Syrian war but increasingly also own voters are becoming increasingly angry and dissatisfied with the fact that eight years on eight is after the start of the war a huge amount of refugees still here that's exacerbated by the fact that tech is going to his own economic crisis unemployment levels are rising Texas struggling and of course that itself is bitten exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis lockdown. So you know. We've seen rhetoric on refugees shifting at the start he would say. That's you know the Muslim Brothers. That the very welcome that they'll be looked after in. Turkey and increasing over the past couple of years he started saying three in Saint Louis forever. They'll eventually have go back So on domestic level you know doing things like this plays quite well but also on a firm policy level. Everyone has been a begging other countries strictly European countries for support in hosting refugees. He's to certain extent dot support. He got six billion euros from for promise from the in thousand sixteen to help look after refugees. But he says it's just a drop in the ocean also support for for the Turkish army's In Syria whether holding a line against President

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