Days after Turkey opened its borders with Europe threatening mass migration, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered the country's coastguards to prevent the refugees from crossing the Aegean sea, international media reported citing Turkish officials. This comes as thousands of migrants have tried to cross into Greece from the Turkish land and sea border in the past week.
As per reports, Erdogan said that permission to cross the Aegean Sea would not be given to the migrants because it was dangerous. The coastguards reportedly said that the approach for not intervening against migrants wishing to leave Turkey remained in practice. However, the new approach covers sea crossing because of the dangers involved. The Turkish coastguards while talking to international media revealed that they recently rescued 97 boats after the Greeks flattened three boats and left them in Half Sinking state in the middle of the sea.
Meanwhile, Turkey has vowed to seek justice for a migrant it says was killed on the border with Greece after Greek authorities fired tear gas and stun grenades to push back dozens of people attempting to cross over. Greece had denied that anyone was killed in the clashes. Thousands of migrants arrived at the Pazarkule border gate, near the Greek border village of Kastanies in the past week triggering clashes with Greek border guards.
On March 4, one person was killed and five others were wounded after Greek police and border guards opened fire on the migrants making a push to cross the border, Turkish authorities reportedly said. The Greek government, however, rejected the assertion as "fake news."
This comes as Erdogan on March 7 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.