Greece repels early morning migrant attempt to storm border

The Greek authorities have averted an attempt by hundreds of migrants who tried to storm across the border from Turkey, said the Greek Reporter

The incident reportedly took place between 2:30 a.m and 4 a.m. on Wednesday, when a group of at least 300 migrants tried to force their way into Greece through the border fence near the Kastanies crossing.

The Greek police accused Turkish security forces of helping to coordinate the attempt and of firing tear gas over the border, said the Greek Reporter. 

Turkey announced in late February it would no longer prevent migrants trying to reach Europe. The move was perceived as an attempt to drum up more EU aid for the roughly four million refugees inside Turkey, and to rally European support for Turkey’s military campaign in Idlib, Syria.

Greek authorities say they have rebuffed tens of thousands of people attempting to enter the European Union since then and arrested around 300 who managed to get through in the past two weeks. 

Greece has been criticised for suspending asylum applications and deploying violence against migrants trying to cross. 

The New York Times reported last week that the Greek government was violating international law by holding migrants at a secret extrajudicial location before expelling them to Turkey without giving them the chance to claim asylum or speak to a lawyer.

Greece has accused Turkish authorities of trying to help migrant cross by firing rounds of tear gas towards Greek border units, and Greek border guards are using powerful fans to disperse tear gas fired from the Turkish side of the border, the Associated Press said last week.