Erdoğan hands Greece a diplomatic gift by sending refugees - Kathimerini

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s move to push migrants to Turkey’s western borders is a diplomatic gift to Greece, Greek daily Kathimerini’s Executive Editor Alex Papachelas wrote on Saturday.

“With his barefaced move to send crowds of migrants and refugees to the border with Greece, Erdogan has handed us a great diplomatic gift,” Papachelas said.

As Europe and the United States still look for an appropriate response to the unpredictable Turkish president, the Greek government’s actions show that it will no longer be “business as usual” in terms of hosting migrants and refugees that travel from Turkey, he said. 

Greece announced on Friday that it closed all land and sea borders to undocumented persons following Turkey’s announcement on Thursday that it would no longer intervene to stop asylum seekers from reaching Europe, following the death of at least 36 soldiers in airstrikes in Syria’s Idlib province.

Arrivals to Greek islands and mainland Greece through the Evros river continue, as Greek security forces occasionally shoot tear gas at migrants stuck in the no-man’s-land between Turkey and Greece, as Turkish soldiers refuse to let them back into the country.