Migrants stranded on Turkish-Greek border: “We are left to the dogs”

Tens of thousands of migrants are stuck on the Turkish side of the border with Greece as they dodge tear gas canisters being thrown from the Greek side. As Reuters reported, “some migrants dabbed stinging eyes with water, others trekked through fields probing for chinks in the well-guarded frontier.”

Migrants started heading to the border with Greece in great numbers after Turkey announced it was opening its border on 28 February. However, Greece is blocking their path. Ankara also deployed around 1,000 police officers to stop migrants from retreating.

Fawzi Uzbek, 37, an Afghan national who hopes to reach Germany, told Reuters that he would probably soon head back to Istanbul.

“The Greeks know that if they open the gates they will get many more people (arriving) on this side of the border,” said Uzbek, who is staying in a makeshift tent with his wife and four children.

Sawsan al-Musawa, a Syrian refugee with four children told Reuters that she has lost hope of ever reaching Europe. “We are left to the dogs,” she said.

Greece claims that its forces have blocked about 35,000 migrants trying to cross its border in the past week. The government has also announced that they will not be accepting any asylum applications for a month, and will be reporting migrants who have entered the country irregularly. 

TMP – 09/03/2020

Photo credit: Nicola Zolin

Photo caption: Turkish-Greek border, migrants are stuck between the border as the Greek forces push them back with tear gas canisters.