Greek-Turkish border: migrants gathered naked across the border

Status: 17.10.2022 13:48

Nearly 100 migrants, naked and some injured, are said to have been carried across the border river Evros, from Turkey to Greece. Countries blame each other, while Frontex has now confirmed the case.

On Friday, 92 migrants were said to have been guided naked across the border river Evros from Turkey to Greece. The EU border protection agency Frontex has now confirmed this incident. Officials from the EU agency supported Greek border guards in rescuing people, a Frontex spokesperson said. They later reported that some people had been visibly injured.

The migrants entered the country by boat via the Evros border river. Frontex and Greek border guards dressed and treated the migrants, the border protection agency said. They are said to come from Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan. The incident was immediately forwarded to Frontex’s fundamental rights officer to investigate a possible violation of fundamental rights.

Mutual finger pointing

Athens and Ankara blamed each other for the accident over the weekend. Greek civil protection minister Takis Theodorikakos spoke of barbaric behavior reminiscent of the Middle Ages. The Turkish Deputy Interior Minister, on the other hand, tweeted that Greece was trying to impose the same cruelty as Turkey.

Greece wants to involve the United Nations

Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said he would raise the issue with the United Nations during a visit to New York next week. He has already informed the EU Commission, Mitarakis tweeted. “Turkey is in a difficult position due to the shameful incident involving 92 migrants in Evros,” reads the tweet. “Unfortunately, they have been subjected to degrading behavior.”

On Saturday, Greek authorities and the media released a photo showing naked people. Some migrants said they were taken to the border in three vehicles owned by the Turkish authorities and loaded onto rubber boats to cross the river.

Turkey talks about “fake news”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun, said on Sunday that Greek claims that Turkey rejected 92 naked migrants in Greece were not true. Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi leaked false information when he tweeted a photo of naked migrants on Saturday and blamed Turkey.

Altun tweeted in Turkish, Greek and English that the minister wanted to suspect Turkey. It is Greece that urgently needs to change the way it treats migrants. “Greece has once again demonstrated to the whole world that it does not respect the dignity of refugees by publishing images of these oppressed people whom it deported after their belongings were extorted,” he wrote.

Turkey regularly accuses Greece of forcibly rejecting migrants entering the country by land and sea. The Turkish Coast Guard often publishes videos of such so-called push-backs. Greece, in turn, accuses Turkey of pushing migrants across the border to put pressure on the EU.

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