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.
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.
A total of 13 migrants, of whom 10 were Afghans and three from the Syrian border town of Kobani, were found frozen to death in the Çaldıran district of the eastern province of Van on Feb. 8 after crossing the Iran-Turkey border. People's Democratic Party (HDP) Migrant and Refugee Commission spokesperson Gülsüm Ağaoğlu branded the incident as "a shame for humanity."