Duvar English

Greek police opened fire on migrants on the Turkish border on March 4, as the crisis over the build-up of thousands of migrants after Turkey opened its borders to let them through to Europe continues.

Several migrants were wounded when Greek police opened fire on them near the Pazarkule Border Gate in the western province of Edirne. They were taken to hospitals.

One of those shot succumbed to his wounds and five others are wounded, Edirne Governor’s Office said.

The incident took place when a group of Turkish deputies from parliament’s Human Rights Investigation Commission were making on-site examinations.

Speaking about the incident, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu said that the scene is a disgrace.

“Several migrants were wounded by actual bullets and we were also in danger. Turkish police overlooks what’s happening in the areas that journalists are not allowed,” Gergerlioğlu told Duvar.

Greek government spokesman, meanwhile, accused Turkey of disseminating fake news via alleging that migrants were wounded by Greek police.

Earlier, Greek riot police and troops fired tear gas on the migrants.

The air was thick with smoke on both the Greek and Turkish sides of the Pazarkule Border Gate and fire engines were also at hand to put out smouldering blazes on the ground.

Pazarkule has been the scene of sometimes violent clashes between Greek security forces and migrants since Feb. 27, though tensions had eased on March 3 as some of the migrants left the immediate area of the border crossing.

Thousands of migrants have been trying to breach the border since Turkey said on Feb. 27 it would no longer abide by a 2016 deal with the European Union to halt illegal migration flows to Europe in return for billions of euros in aid.

According to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, a total of 135,844 migrants crossed into Greece as of early March 4.

Gergerlioğlu said that the numbers are not correct.

The deputy also pointed to the dire conditions of migrants.

“We asked the [Edirne] Governor’s Office whether they distributed tents to people sleeping in the cold. They said, ‘No.’ People are in miserable conditions,” he said.

Greece, backed by the EU, and Turkey have traded daily accusations about mistreatment of the migrants. Athens has reinforced security along the border, with troops and army jeeps patrolling the area.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on March 3 voiced support for Greece’s efforts to safeguard its borders.

“The situation at our border is not only for Greece issue to manage it is the responsibility of Europe as a whole,” she told a news conference after touring the region with other EU leaders and Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“Those who seem to test Europe’s unity will be disappointed. We will hold the line and our unity will prevail,” she said.