Greek police again deployed tear gas after 500 migrants tried to enter Greece from Turkey Wednesday morning as footage emerged showing migrants deploying makeshift bridges to help them gain access to Europe.
On social media, users posted videos of groups of migrants hauling what are supposedly bridges meant to lay across barbed wire fencing, allowing migrants to climb over quickly. The migrants were reportedly repelled by Greek police after two hours of battling to cross the border.
— Nic ? (@NicAthens) March 18, 2020
According to idnes.cz, tear gas was also used by the Turkish police against the Greek security forces, according to Greek media and European correspondents, Turkey has been accused numerous time of trying to help migrants enter Greece, including footage previously captured by Associated Press showcasing over a dozen Turkish police officers firing tear gas at Greek forces.
The situation on the Greek-Turkish border escalated after a few days of relative calm, but the clashes Wednesday morning demonstrate the crisis at the border remains far from over.
— Nic ? (@NicAthens) March 19, 2020
During the clashes, Greek police used tear gas and water cannons against hundreds of migrants. Migrants then lit several fires on the Turkish side of the border.
According to the Associated Press, there are still about 2,000 migrants at the border in makeshift tents who believe they can still get into the EU. However, the Turkish news agency Anadolu wrote on Tuesday that there are up to 10,000 migrants at the border.
The Greek daily Kathimerini noted that members of the security forces from other European Union countries, sent by the EU border protection agency Frontex, remain active helping Greece protect its border.
Referring to the statement by the governor of the Turkish border region, the Anadolu agency stated on Tuesday that since the end of February, about 147,132 migrants crossed the border into Greece through two border crossings in the Edirne region and crossings will continue.
According to the same source, since the end of February, the Greek security forces killed three and injured 214 migrants at the border, a claim that Greece has fiercely denied. Greece says Turkey is active spreading propaganda.
Currently, Greece is concerned about the migrant issue more than ever, especially over fears that coronavirus may spread quickly among migrants. The Greek authorities, have now decided to introduce restrictions in migrant camps on the Greek islands in the hope of preventing a widespread crisis.