Refugee wave heading for Erdine

Refugee wave heading for Erdine

Ankara, September 16, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

Turkish authorities are trying to repel the immigrants

They are seeking a way out through Evros, to avoid the “dangerous Aegean”

By Manolis Kostidis

The prefecture of Edirne has given a three-day deadline to the 3,000 refugees who have arrived by car at the border waiting to cross into Greece. If they do not comply, authorities warn that they will use violence to repel this new wave of refugees.

Every hour that passes, however, the number of refugees increases as they communicate via mobile phones and the internet and gather in Istanbul. From there, most of them use buses, while others walk 250 kilometers to reach the border, in order to put pressure on the authorities to open the Turkish-Greek border.

No camps have been set up in the region and migrants sleep with their children at the side of the road, without even a blanket. The migratory wave towards Evros increases as after successive shipwrecks in the Aegean everyone is looking for a safer way to Europe.

In their efforts to prevent the influx of refugees to the border, the Turkish authorities have lined police and soldiers on the streets, while at the same time they isolate refugees in Istanbul bus station and prohibit companies from selling tickets to refugees. There are many, however, who rent their buses to groups of refugees and leave them a few kilometers from the greek border.

Telephone conversation Erdogan-Merkel

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a telephone conversation with Angela Merkel on the immigration wave that “chokes” Europe and Turkey. Erdogan, after telling Merkel that that Turkey is home to hundreds of thousands of refugees, he stressed to the German Chancellor that the EU must take significant steps to address the refugee issue that is fueled from the chaos in Syria and in many Middle Eastern countries. Merkel told Erdogan that Germany will accept 800,000 refugees.

Turkey has had the largest influx of refugees from Syria and in accordance with the Turkish authorities about two million Syrians immigrants are within the Turkish border. In the cities Şanlıurfa and Gaziantep have been set up dozens of refugee camps that host hundreds of thousands of immigrants. But many Syrians want to reach Europe since they cannot survive in Turkey due to the economic poverty. “I was working in a bakery for 12 hours a day for 35 liras (10 euros), how am I to live; and I can’t return to my country since everything has been destroyed there”, says to the turkish television networks, Arif, who is located 5 km from Greece.

The Turkish authorities said that the wave of immigration in the coming days may increase as everybody wants to arrive in the EU countries before winter sets in, as they won’t be able to follow the difficult course with low temperatures.

Erdogan accused the West and Russia over the situation in Syria. “Moscow has sent and keeps sending assistance to Assad and he continues to slaughtering his people. How can that be?”, he said. The Turkish opposition and part of the press, on the other hand, have accused the Turkish President on many occasion for having supported the extremist Islamic elements in Syria, in a bid to overthrow Assad, and accuse him that he bears much of the responsibility for the situation in Syria.

In southeastern Turkey, on the border with Syria, despite the announcements of the authorities that 1/3 of the power of the PKK has been decimated, the Kurdish organization continues its action. Two Turkish policemen were killed and two others injured today, when men of the PKK detonated explosives targeting the vehicle that carried them, while moving on a provincial street of the city Hakkari.

In another attack in the town of Mus, 12 Turkish soldiers were wounded when their convoy was hit from a landmine explosion that had been placed at the side of the road.