Greek security forces are attempting to stop thousands of refugees and migrants from entering Greece after Turkey’s declaration that it will no longer stem the migrant flow out of their country. Since Friday, the number of migrants has surged along the banks of the Evros River, the border between Greece and Turkey.
19:48: ”Neither the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees nor EU refugee law provides any legal basis for the suspension of the reception of asylum applications,” the UNHCR stated.
19:47: The UNHCR says that ”all States have a right to control their borders and manage irregular movements, but at the same time should refrain from the use of excessive or disproportionate force and maintain systems for handling asylum requests in an orderly manner.”
19:45: The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) issued a statement with which it is ”appealing for calm and an easing of tensions on Turkey’s borders with the European Union in light of the present increased movements of people there – including refugees and asylum-seekers.”
19:40: The Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis informed the American President about the situation on the border.
18:25: Greece says 24.203 attempts of illegal entry into the country have been prevented from Saturday morning until now. 183 who managed to enter, have been arrested.
18:20: 4,354 individuals were stopped from entering Greece in Evros on Monday
18:15: The Executive Director of Frontex has agreed today to launch a rapid border intervention to assist Greece.
The Executive Director of Frontex has agreed today to launch a rapid border intervention to assist Greece in dealing with the large numbers of migrants at its external borders. https://t.co/0fYVDlwlKM pic.twitter.com/TmEu9PvvSb
— Frontex (@Frontex) March 2, 2020
17:25: The Greek authorities send text messages to deter those who wish to enter Greece.
16:40: Greece’s opposition SYRIZA party accuses the Greek government of severe mistakes and asks the EU to assume its responsibilities by deciding sanctions on Turkey if Ankara does not immediately return to the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement.
Τα 10 τραγικά λάθη της κυβέρνησης Μητσοτάκη στο προσφυγικό – Οι προτάσεις του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ https://t.co/36i8Cvrgmr
— Giannis Ragkousis (@gragkousis) March 2, 2020
16:30: Our exclusive photograph shows the smashed windshield of a Greek Army vehicle in Evros after apparently having had rocks thrown at it.
16:25: Greece continues to increase its border security with police and military personnel.
15:35: Turkish President Erdogan accused Greece of using real bombs, not just the tear gas, against refugees and said the country would be held to the account in the international community.
Turkish President #Erdogan accused #Greece today of using real bombs, not just the tear gas, against refugees to dissuade them from coming, vowed Greece would be held to the account in the international community. pic.twitter.com/Z0661kqgU9
— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) March 2, 2020
15:05: Turkey’s President Erdogan says from Ankara: ”The gates are now open. You have to take your fair share,” and added that ”soon, that number (of the refugees and migrants who try to reach Europe) will be millions.”
LIVE: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the AK Party advisory council in Ankara https://t.co/kw5aZ3Fwtz
— PresserWatch (@PresserWatch) March 2, 2020
14:10: French President Emmanuel Macron expresses ”full solidarity” with Greece and Bulgaria and says France is ready to ”contribute to European efforts to give them rapid assistance and protect the borders.”
Pleine solidarité avec la Grèce et la Bulgarie, la France est prête à contribuer aux efforts européens pour leur prêter une assistance rapide et protéger les frontières. Nous devons agir ensemble pour éviter une crise humanitaire et migratoire.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 1, 2020
13:30: The Greek Coast Guard publishes a video showing a Turkish Coast Guard vessel shadowing a boat with migrants and refugees. According to the Hellenic Coast Guard, the footage shows that Turkey is encouraging migrant vessels to sail to the Aegean islands.
13:10: Guy Verhofstadt, a prominent MEP of the Liberal ”Renew Europe” party of the European Parliament says ”the EU has to stand by Greece and fight Erdogan’s blackmail.”
1⃣rolling out an EU border & coast guard
2⃣unburdening the countries of 1st entrance
3⃣a legal path for economic migration (European Blue Card) https://t.co/aQAmB0Y8tN
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) March 2, 2020
13:02: The Parliamentary group of Greece’s SYRIZA party in the European Parliament asks for an immediate debate in the Parliament’s plenary about the situation in Greece’s Evros border.
Πρωτοβουλία των Ε/Β του #ΣΥΡΙΖΑ για να συζητηθεί άμεσα στην Ολομέλεια του ΕΚ η κρίση στα σύνορα Ελλάδας-Τουρκίας, ο εκβιασμός Ερντογάν και οι ευθύνες της ΕΕ 🇬🇷 Επιστολές Δημ. Παπαδημούλη στους Προέδρους Αριστεράς, Σοσιαλιστών, Πρασίνων και Renew Europe https://t.co/Jzisbpmdrd
— Dim. Papadimoulis (@papadimoulis) March 2, 2020
13:00: Greece’s Supreme Military Command of the Interior and Islands announced that it will be conducting exercises along the country’s eastern border, from Samothrace to Castellorizo.
12:55: Greece’s IV Army Corps is conducting exercises in the county of Evros, using machine guns, rifles and pistols with live ammunition.
12:51: Clashes erupt in the Moria refugee and migrant camp on Lesvos.
12:48: The spokesperson of the Greek government says that footage showing a fatality in Evros is fake news.
— Stelios Petsas (@SteliosPetsas) March 2, 2020
12:45: A tragic incident took place in the early hours of Monday, as a young child drowned off the island of Lesvos.
12:40: The entire leadership of the European Union will be in Evros on Tuesday, along with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, to assess the situation along the Greek-Turkish border.
EU Commission President @vonderleyen and @EP_President David Sassoli will join @eucopresident Charles Michel and me tomorrow on the Greek-Turkish land border.
Important statement of support by all 3 institutions at a time when Greece is successfully defending EU borders.
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) March 2, 2020
19:40: A meeting of the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense is underway in Athens, while photographs from the Evros border depict the current situation there.
19:05: Video shows Greek military personnel spreading the message in several different languages that the Greek border is closed to those who attempt to enter the country illegally.
18:55: The #GreeceUnderAttack hashtag is trending on Twitter both in Greece and Turkey, where dozens of fake accounts spread fake news about the situation, in a clear attempt to mislead the public as well as refugees and migrants.
18:52: The EU is calling an extraordinary meeting of its Foreign Affairs Council next week to discuss the situation in Idlib, Syria which was given by Turkey as a reason for the Greek-Turkish border escalation.
#Idlib – ongoing fighting is a serious threat to intl peace and security and causing untold human suffering. I am calling for extraordinary Foreign Affairs @EUCouncil to discuss situation with EU ministers. Contacts with key actors ongoing. Full statement->https://t.co/9i9ayJwqVn
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) March 1, 2020
18:30: Video shows tear gas being thrown from the Turkish side to the Greek one.
17:50: Hundreds of individuals remain on the Turkish side of the border, waiting to find a chance to cross the border and enter Greece, and hence, the EU.
17:07: Greek armed forces are sending reinforcements to Evros. This footage is from earlier on Sunday, where a column of army vehicles are seen on Egnatia Highway heading toward the Greek-Turkish border.
Ενισχύονται οι στρατιωτικές δυνάμεις στον #Εβρο..
Αυτή την στιγμή γεμάτη η Εγνατία Οδός με στρατιωτικά οχήματα..
— Νίκος Σωτηροπουλος (@NIKSOTIROPOYLOS) March 1, 2020
17:05: Greek Reporter learns that a Greek police officer at the border was injured when a rock hit his face. He was rushed to Didimoticho Hospital and is currently in good condition.
17:00: Greek police are using water cannons to disperse a large crowd of migrants and refugees which has moved closer to the Greek border. Greek journalists who had been called for a briefing by officers were evacuated from the area as their security was compromised, Greek Reporter learns.
16:55: New clashes erupt in the area between the Greek and the Turkish border, as refugees and migrants throw rocks and the Greek police respond with tear gas.
16:45: The Greek Army is transmitting messages in six languages, informing the refugees and migrants of the Turkish side that the borders are closed. The languages are English, Punjabi, Farsi, Pashto, and Bengali.
16:40: Video shows a group of people attacking individuals on Lesvos, and throwing their cameras in the sea. The victims are believed to be reporters or members of an NGO.
Επίθεση σε μέλη ΜΚΟ στο λιμάνι της Θέρμης στη Λέσβο. Πέταξαν τις κάμερές τους στη θάλασσα. pic.twitter.com/UYvzfgFwNN
— SKAI.gr (@skaigr) March 1, 2020
16:00: Angry demonstrators are preventing new refugees and immigrants from getting to the port of Thermi on Lesvos. Hundreds of local residents gathered at the local port to push back a migrant boat carrying at least 30 people, including women and children.
Posted by Στο Νησί on Sunday, March 1, 2020
15:15: Greece’s public broadcaster ERT reported that the Greek Navy will send additional forces to the Eastern Aegean islands to guard the sea border.
14:30: The demand for solidarity with Greece gains cross-party consensus in Europe. Ska Keller, the President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament says that ”Erdoğan is using refugees as pieces in his war game,” asking for solidarity with Greece and those who need protection.
Erdoğan is using refugees as piece in his war game. Europe shouldn't accept to play this game but act on its values. We…
14:20: EU’s Vice-President Margaritis Schinas called on the Croatian Presidency to request that EU Home Affairs Ministers meet urgently in an extraordinary JHA Council.
Yesterday night called the Croatian Presidency @EU2020HR and Deputy PM Minister @DavorBozinovic to request that EU Home Affairs Ministers meet urgently in an extraordinary JHA Council. Consultations ongoing with @vonderleyen @YlvaJohansson @PrimeministerGR. Tomorrow in Berlin. https://t.co/YpAuUOG1tl
— Margaritis Schinas (@MargSchinas) March 1, 2020
14:10: Reports suggest that Greece’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the Turkish ambassador to Athens.
.@GreeceMFA has summoned the Turkish Ambassador in Athens.
— Vassilis Nedos (@NedosVassilis) March 1, 2020
14:05: Greek Foreign Ministry accuses Turkey of publicizing misinformation.
Disinformation campaign by Turkish authorities continues. The reality: 10,000 people were prevented from entering Greek territory (all along Evros) from yesterday morning to this morning. 73 -unrelated to #Idlib– persons illegally crossed, were arrested & accordingly prosecuted https://t.co/bqN2V6CLDM
— Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών (@GreeceMFA) March 1, 2020
No one can cross the Greek borders. All those attempting illegal entry, are effectively prevented from entering. Numbers cited by Turkish authorities are entirely false and misleading.
— Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών (@GreeceMFA) March 1, 2020
14:00: Former President of the European Council and President of the European People’s Party Donald Tusk asks for solidarity with Greece.
It is our common responsibility and duty to protect European external borders. This is why we should show our solidarity to Greece and @PrimeministerGR.
— Donald Tusk (@donaldtuskEPP) February 29, 2020
13:46: Video emerges showing Saturday’s efforts by Greece’s military to deter the refugees and migrants, firing into the air.
13:45: Frontex, the EU Border and Coast Guard agency, announces additional assistance to Greece.
#Frontex is in close contact with Greek authorities regarding additional support we can provide. We are redeploying equipment and additional officers to Greece and closely monitoring the situation pic.twitter.com/vAPcvEN9Lt
— Frontex (@Frontex) March 1, 2020
13:35: Video from Saturday shows Greek forces trying to deter the crowd by throwing tear gas while being under petrol-bomb attack themselves.
13:30: Individual refugees and migrants are seen on Greece’s side trying to leave the border area.
13:20: At least 500 refugees and migrants have reached the shores of Greece’s Eastern Aegean islands since Sunday morning.
13:10: Greece Sends SMS text messages to all those who try to enter Greek territory from Turkey, saying that the country’s borders are closed for those who try to cross illegally.
12:45: The Greek government calls an extraordinary meeting of the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense (KYSEA) in Athens.
12:40: Night video emerges showing refugees and migrants trying to cross the Evros River to enter Greece.
Αυτά είναι.στο δέλτα του ΈΒΡΟΥ χαμός γίνεται
12:30: The Greek government says that its border forces have stopped approximately 10,000 people from entering the country illegally in Evros.