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Greek border guards kill and injure refugees at Turkish-Greek border

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Editing: Ayham Nasif |
Translation: Nouha Salti

Turkey - SMART

On Monday, shooting from Greek border guards killed a Syrian refugee and injured others, while refugees were trying to cross the Turkish-Greek border toward Greece near Edirne, Northwestern Turkey.

Eyewitnesses and activists reported to SMART that the Greek border guards shot live munition at a gathering of refugees from different nationalities at a border area post near the Turkish town of Enez, killing a Syrian refugee and injuring two others.

Videos published by activists on social media showed a group of people carrying a Syrian man shot in the face, but SMART could not yet determine the authenticity of the videos.

Witnesses added that Turkish border guards prevented dozens of refugees stuck in an area very close to the Greek border from returning to Turkey. The Greek border guards beat the refugees after several attempts to cross to Greece.

The witnesses also said that Greek border guards confiscated and burned dozens of the refugees’ mobile phones to prevent them from filming in the area.

Buses carrying refugees from different nationalities, most of them Afghani, Iranian, and Syrian, continue to arrive at the Turkish-Greek border areas, where refugees face harsh humanitarian conditions, amidst an absence of humanitarian organizations aid and media coverage.

On March 1, 2020, a group of refugees, including Syrians, headed towards the Turkish-Greek border in the Edirne area, Northwestern Turkey, after Turkey announced that it will allow refugees passage to Europe through its territories.

On Feb. 28, 2020, dozens of refugees, including Syrians, arrived at the cost of the Aegean Sea in the Turkish province of Canakkale, Northwestern Turkey, in an attempt to reach the Greek islands, after Turkey announced that it will no longer prevent Syrian refugees from heading to Europe. The Turkish announcement came after a Syrian government forces aerial bombing killed and injured dozens of Turkish soldiers in the Idlib governorate, Northern Syria.

On Feb. 29, 2020, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey will keep its gates open for all the refugees that desire to head towards Europe, while Greece called for a European prime ministers meeting to discuss the refugee situation at its borders.

On March 1, 2020, the Turkish Ministry of Interior announced that 76358 refugees left Turkish territory for the European Union through the Edirne area in Northwestern Turkey.

On Sept. 5, 2019, the Turkish President threatened to open the Turkish border crossings for the refugees that want to head to Europe, if Turkey did not receive financial aid for them.

On March 18, 2016, Turkey and the European Union concluded an agreement concerning refugee issues. In the negotiations before the agreement, Turkey requested the European Union to allow Turkish citizens into Europe without a visa, an additional sum of three billion Euros to be added to the same amount given for the Syrian refugees, and to grant asylum to one Turkish citizen for each refugee that Europe returns to Turkey.