Friday April 12, 2024

Greece to rescue asylum seekers on border river: police

June 05, 2023

ATHENS: Greece on Sunday said it would rescue dozens of asylum seekers claiming to be stranded on the country´s river border with Turkiye for days. “We will rescue them as there is no response from the Turkish authorities to our calls to take them back,” a source in the ministry of citizen´s police protection told AFP. A video sent to media, allegedly from the Evros River region, said the group of about 80 were Yazidis, a mostly Iraq-based Kurdish-speaking religious minority. A man speaking Kurdish on the video said the group had been stuck on one of the river islets for about six days and that several of its members required medical assistance. Thousands of migrants, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, have in recent years crossed into Greece from Turkiye in the hope of making it to western Europe. With the stepping up of patrols in the Aegean Sea making it harder for migrants to reach Greek islands, more are taking their chances by crossing the river, Greece´s natural border with Turkiye, and having traffickers take them from there by road. The office of interim prime minister Ioannis Sarmas, a senior judge, earlier on Sunday noted that it had appealed to the Turkish government “to coordinate with border authorities and prevent illegal crossings.”