The Turkish government is promoting its “open door” policy to allow the immigrants it houses to enter Europe, and to prevent them from returning it is sending 1,000 special agents to the border.
Greece has a land border with Turkey and has closed its borders and is denying the entry of immigrants from Turkey, thus creating a crisis with the thousands of people involved.
“Turkey will deploy 1,000 special operations police officers to prevent the migrants’ retreat at the border,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on March 5, according to the Turkish daily Daily Sabah.
In this border dispute, Solyu reported that European authorities had returned 4,900 migrants to Turkey since March 1.
It is estimated that about 140,000 people left Turkey for Europe.
Although the Turkish government had established an agreement to contain the immigrants on their way to Europe, it gave up because of fighting in Syria’s Idlib Province, supported by Russia.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed out that one of the sources of irregular immigration is precisely Idlib and that his country is powerless to deal with so many refugees.
“Assume that all these people [from Idlib] would enter Turkey somehow. This means 5 million to 5.5 million refugees. How could Turkey handle this? We had to stop this movement, and [thanks to this agreement], we have managed to do so,” said Erdogan.
In search of alternatives for the solution of this crisis, Erdogan held a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, after which they declared a cease-fire in Idlib and worked together for the protection of the population.
The EU ministers “strongly reject” the actions promoted by Erdogan with the immigrants.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was even more forceful in calling Turkey’s “open door” procedure blackmail.
“This migratory pressure is organized,” Le Drian accused, adding, “It is organized by President Erdogan’s regime as a form of blackmail against the European Union.”