Greek police batter refugees who manage to cross the border at the Pazarkule Border Gate in the Thracian province of Edirne, Istanbul Bar Association's Human Rights Center said March 1 in a report about the camp area at the border. Some 200 to 300 migrants "were beaten up with thick sticks, and that their money and mobile phones were seized by Greek police," the report said.
Turkey's Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu urged Greece to provide asylum to the migrants waiting at the border between the two countries, particularly the Pazarkule Border Gate where crowds have been piled at for five days. Meanwhile, Soylu said over 100,000 migrants have crossed over to Europe in Edirne as clashes continue between the crowds and Greek border patrol that's getting increasingly stricter.
Turkish security sources told Reuters that a Syrian refugee was shot dead by Greek border police on March 2, as he was trying to cross Turkey's western border -- a claim denied by Athens. Separately, the Greek coast guard said that one child died after being pulled from the seat when a boat capsized off the Greek island of Lesbos.
Over 60 intellectuals from Turkey have signed a petition calling for military retreat in Northern Syria and for troops to return home after 36 soldiers were killed in Idlib Feb. 27. Among the intellectuals are academics, authors, journalists and artists.
The president of İGAM, an Ankara-based immigration think tank, has warned against possible cases of Alan Kurdi in the Aegean Sea if refugee crossings are to increase following Turkey's statement that it will no longer stop refugees from reaching Europe.
While many migrants have left Istanbul for the Greek border near Edirne, rampage erupted among dozens who attempted to get on a bus in the transportation hub of Kazlıçeşme. Migrants waiting at an Edirne border gate were the target of a gas canister. Other migrants made it to the Greek island of Lesbos by sea.
Greece and Bulgaria have signaled heightened border control as Ankara declared it would no longer prevent migrants from passing over to Europe. While police troops have already been deployed to the Kastanies border in northeastern Greece, Bulgaria said it was poised to deploy 1,000 troops to its Turkish border.
Turkey's border security officials have closed off the Pazarkule Border Gate to Greece on the grounds that some 100 migrants had crossed into the buffer zone illegally, even though Ankara declared on Feb. 27 that it would no longer prevent migrants to cross over to Europe.
A 'Justice March' that lawyers from across Turkey were planning to conduct on Mar. 2 to protest the decay of the judicial system has been postponed in light of the death of 33 Turkish soldiers in Syrian army attacks in Idlib, the Ankara Bar Association said. The march would have been carried out "in search of judicial independence, a state of law and a fair judiciary and to condemn the executive pressures on the judiciary."
Flocks of migrants have begun to move towards the Turkey-Greece border after Ankara decided to lift border crossings in anticipation of a new migration wave from Syria. This follows the killing of 33 Turkish soldiers by the Syrian regime in Idlib on Feb. 27.
Turkey, faced with a new wave of Syrian migrants and 22 more dead soldiers in Idlib, will no longer stop Syrian refugees from reaching Europe, a senior Turkish official said late on Feb. 27. In anticipation of the imminent arrival of refugees from Idlib, Turkish police, coast guard and border security officials have been ordered to stand down on refugees' land and sea crossings, the Turkish official told Reuters.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 26 that being a rich socialist shouldn't be enough to save prominent human rights activist Osman Kavala, as he commented on the Gezi Park trial. "Gezi is a betrayal against this country," Erdoğan said, while claiming that Kavala has pictures with "terrorist organizations." A day earlier, European Parliament called on Turkey to release Kavala and former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş.
A report prepared by the Forensic Medicine Institute after claims of police torture in the southeastern province of Urfa has said that there are scratches on the people who said that they were tortured by police, but that the wounds "are not deadly." Urfa Bar Association's Human Rights Center head Gökhan Dayık said that torture has been a systematic practice in Urfa since 2015, adding that they witnessed it countless times.
Prosecutor seeks sentence for Kurdish women over sit-in they held in solidarity for jailed relatives
A Turkish court held its first hearing on Feb. 25 of a case against four Kurdish women who attempted to hold a sit-in front of the Gebze Prison in April 2019 to raise awareness about their jailed family members' hunger strikes. The hunger strike movement undertaken by several prisoners last year demanded the end of isolation against jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.
Turkey's top court ruled that the rights of a participant in Turkey’s 2013 Gezi Park protests had been violated. The Constitutional Court said the right to life as well as right to assembly and demonstration of a lawyer had been violated after she was beaten by the police with batons in Ankara's Kızılay neighborhood. The applicant will be paid 37,500 liras ($6,120) in spiritual damages.