The Turkish Gendarmerie have stopped barring the way to the mostly Syrian refugees in the region of Edirne and hundreds are now making their way to the Bulgarian border, a Turkish Gendarmerie official told ANA-MPA. According to Turkish customs authorities, there was no sign that they were heading toward Greece as of yet.
The refugees are proceeding along the TEM highway linking Istanbul with Edirne in northwestern Turkey and then to the Kapikule gate on the Turkish-Bulgarian border, the source said. Turkish law enforcement officers had been in a standoff with refugees at Edirne for days, barring their progress toward Greece and Bulgaria. Thousands of refugees were taken back to Istanbul by bus but some 800-900 remained in Edirne and today headed up the highway to Kapikule.
Acting on the orders of the Edirne prefect Dursun Ali Sahin, gendarmerie officers removed barriers and did not attempt to stop them. According to local officials, the result is that refugees are expected to reach Kapikule and have to face Bulgarian police and border guards.
Replying to ANA-MPA questions, Turkish customs authorities said that the refugees were not making any move toward the Greek-Turkish border at present, to either the Kipi border crossing or that in Kastanies. Other police sources in Edirne pointed out, however, that the refugees were simply following the TEM highway, which leads to Bulgaria, but might well turn back toward the Greek border if they found their progress blocked by Bulgarian authorities.