Migrant standoff escalates as Greece locks down against coronavirus

The migrant standoff at the Greek-Turkish border has been steadily escalating, once again, from March 19th onwards.

The Turkish forces, once again, began using tear gas against the Greek border guard. Clashes between migrants and Greek border guards also took place.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said he had ordered he governor in border province of Edirne to retaliate ten times more to the Greek troops.

He branded the Turkish response as unprecedented, and claimed over 148,000 already crossed into Greece and more will continue to do so.

Even earlier, migrants were showing carrying makeshift ladders, attempting to cross over into Greece.

“In response, Greek authorities come up with new methods every day to discourage migrants. While Greek border police continue to use tear gas, plastic bullets and sometimes real bullets, they also used air fans to increase the impact of the tear gas. The last method has been the use of green lasers, which run the risk of causing permanent damage to the retina.”

Turkish media propagates the narrative that Greek border guards are using tear gas themselves, and attempting to spread it with the massive fans. When there’s numerous footage showing how Turkish forces launch the tear gas canisters, and the Greek side attempting to clear the air from it with the fans.

Edirne Health Director Ali Cengiz Kalkan said Greece has been practicing inhuman treatment on migrants waiting near its borders.

Kalkan said the green laser used by Greek security forces in recent days is dangerous for someone’s eyes in case of direct contact.

Stating that it can even cause blindness, Kalkan added: “On the one side, there is Turkey which helps children, women and refugees; on the other side, there is Greece which brutalizes migrants.”

On March 23rd, Turkish F-16 fighter jets violated Greek airspace over the islets of Anthropofagi and Makronisi, which are part of the Fournoi and Oinousses group, without first submitting a flight plan.

The first pair of F-16s entered the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) without first submitting a flight plan and flew over the Greek islets at 10.31 a.m. at an altitude of 27,000 feet, according to the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA).

One minute later, a second pair of Turkish jets, which also entered the Athens FIR without submitting a flight plan, flew over the same two islets at 9,000 feet. At 10.54 a.m., the first pair of jets flew over Oinousses at 5,000 feet.

The jets were intercepted by the Greek air force.