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07 Mar 2020 | 03:40 PM UTC

Greece: Turkish, Greek forces exchange tear gas as migrants attempt to cross border March 7 /update 3

Turkish and Greek forces exchange volleys of tear gas at Kastanies border crossing on March 7 as migrants attempt to cross Greek-Turkish border into European Union (EU); similar clashes to be expected over the near term

entry/exit
security
GRC

Event

Turkish and Greek security forces reportedly exchanged volleys of tear gas along the Greek-Turkish border at Kastanies (Eastern Macedonia and Thrace region) on Saturday, March 7, as dozens of migrants continued to attempt to cross the border into the European Union (EU). On Saturday evening (local time), Greek police fired water cannons to extinguish fires started along the border barrier. The migrants' push to access the EU comes after Turkey announced on February 28 that it would no longer seek to contain the hundreds of thousands of migrants within its borders as fighting continues in northwestern Syria.

Similar clashes at the Greek-Turkish border are to be expected over the near term.

Context

Greek police officers used tear gas to prevent migrants from crossing the border near Kastanies (Eastern Macedonia and Thrace region) on March 4 and March 6. Turkey announced on February 28 that it would no longer prevent migrants from entering Europe. On March 3, the EU stated that it would provide financial assets to Greece to manage the crisis while it also asked Turkey to fulfill its 2016 commitment to keep migrants on its soil. Athens has reinforced its borders with military patrols amid the confrontation.

Advice

Individuals near the Greek-Turkish border are advised to monitor the situation, avoid the affected areas, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.