20 de março de 2020

The number of migrants trying to cross the border from Turkey into Greece border has decreased dramatically amid the coronavirus crisis, but some are refusing to abandon their attempts to get into the EU.

Far fewer migrants have been massing at the border between Turkey and Greece and some have left for the Turkish towns where they were previously accommodated, media have reported.

Migrants had flocked to the border areas as well as to sea ports after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced last month that Ankara would not stop them crossing the border in the wake of the country’s heavy losses in the Syrian war.

Greek newspaper Ekathimerini reported on Wednesday that the number of migrants at the border areas has fallen to around 2,000.

However, tensions continue to flare, and Ekathimerini reported that Turkish and Greek border guards used tear gas on Wednesday during a clash as some 500 migrants tried to cross the border.

President Erdogan’s visit to Brussels last week for a meeting with EU leaders and a video conference with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday ended without a comprehensive solution for the migrant crisis.

Istanbul-based journalist and political scientist Sezin Oney suggested that the migrant issue has been overshadowed by efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

“Turkey asked for financial help and visa-free travel for its citizens in the Schengen area in return for stopping the migrants but it seems that Turkey did not get what it wanted. Moreover, it is not possible to expect such a development in these times since the EU become introverted amidst the coronavirus outbreak,” Oney told BIRN.

“Nobody in the EU now cares about Turkey or migrants on the Turkey-Greece border,” Oney added.

According to Turkish media reports, migrants have started to leave the border areas and Turkey has been sending them back on buses to the places where they were originally registered.

Fonte: balkaninsight