Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi on March 4 reportedly said that the country will transfer all the migrants who arrived in its territory illegally after March 1 to the city of Serres. The minister also plans to deport back the migrants to their own countries as thousands of migrants have for Greece since Ankara said that it would let them cross its border into Europe. According to international media reports, hundreds of migrants have made it into Greece, many by sea to Lesbos and other Greek islands.
While speaking to a Greek local media outlet, Mitarachi reportedly said that the country's aim is to return the migrants to their own country. He further also added that the migrants who entered the country prior to January 1, 2019, and are living on the islands would also be transferred to the mainland in the coming days. Greece reportedly also announced that it would also no longer accept any new asylum applications for a month following the build-up of migrants at the border.
Greek troops reportedly also prevented migrants from entering Europe by firing teargas and stun grenades. As per reports, Turkey also accuses Greek forces of shooting dead one migrant and wounding five others. However, Greece has strongly denied all the charges and claimed that the Turkish police were using tear gas to help the migrants illegally cross onto its territory.
Greece and EU also reportedly accused Turkey of deliberately goading the migrants to cross the border as a way of pressuring Brussels into offering more money or supporting Ankara's geopolitical aims in the Syrian conflict. Erdogan on Saturday claimed that over 18,000 refugees had crossed the western border that it shares with Greece after Ankara opened its gate amid a new military campaign in north-western Syria. According to reports, Erdogan did not provide any evidence to support his claim but said that Turkey is not obliged to look after and feed so many refugees.
According to international media reports, Tukey hosts more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees and thousands of migrants searched for ways to cross Greece's border with Turkey on March 3. Turkey had reportedly also demanded more support from Europe in dealing with the fallout from the Syrian war to its south, however, Erdogan accused EU of ignoring Turkey's security concerns while supporting Greece. Turkey ambassador also said that EU's treatment of the agreement with Turkey constituted a 'very huge disappointment' that could only be rectified by fulfilling the 2016 commitments.