Duvar English - ReutersTurkish, Greek academics agree all parties flouted 2016 EU migrant deal
Ankara and Athens have engaged in a war of words over the treatment of migrants gathered at the border, with Turkey releasing a video on March 7 of what it said was a Greek soldier firing live ammunition at migrants trying to cross from Turkey.
The video showed migrants trying to cross over a fence and a soldier shooting at them from the other side.
A Turkish official said the footage was filmed on March 7 near the Pazarkule border crossing from western Turkey to Greece and showed a Greek soldier firing live ammunition.
Athens denied its forces had used live bullets.
Turkey said on Feb. 28 that it would not stop migrants crossing its borders into Europe, saying it could no longer contain the millions it already hosts and the prospect of a fresh influx from fighting in northwest Syria.
Since then, teargas and smoke bombs have been fired across Turkey's border with Greece daily as migrants seek access to European Union territory.
Posting the video on Twitter, Turkey's Deputy Interior Minister İsmail Çataklı said: "We are seeing European civilization at our border with Greece."
Avrupa medeniyetini Yunan sınırında izliyoruz! pic.twitter.com/mZ9FxggXA8— İsmail ÇATAKLI (@ismailcatakli) March 7, 2020
Commenting on the video, a Greek government official told Reuters that Greek forces at the border use blanks, not live rounds.
Greek soldiers and riot police have been manning the borderland as thousands of migrants have made a rush for the frontier in recent days. Their Turkish counterparts have been stationed on the other side.
Greek officials say authorities have thwarted thousands of attempts by migrants to cross in the past eight days. Between Feb. 29 and early March 7 evening, Greek authorities registered more than 39,500 attempts to cross and made 280 arrests, a government source said.
"Greece is doing what every sovereign state has the right to do, to protect its border from any illegal crossings," Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told the CNN network late on March 6.Russia says Turkey trying to push 130,000 refugees from Syria into Greece
"I'm afraid this is a constant and very systematic provocation on Turkey's behalf which has nothing to do with the plight of these people. They are being used by Turkey."
Turkey on March 6 accused the European Union of using migrants as political tools and allowing international law to be "trampled" after EU foreign ministers said they would work to stop illegal migration into the bloc.
Hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers fleeing conflict in 2015 and 2016 reached the European Union going through Turkey and Greece until an agreement between Brussels and Ankara stopped the flow in March 2016.
However, Turkey still hosts hundreds of thousands of people, and thousands are stuck in limbo in Greece as asylum application reviews crawl forward at a snail's pace.Police delivers migrants to the river in Edirne where traffickers carry them across
Greek police also said on March 7 they had arrested 12 people trying to leave for Austria on forged passports. The detainees, who said they were Syrians, arrived at Athens airport dressed in identical sports kits and said they were members of a handball team heading for a game in Vienna.