Greece presents new plan to strengthen border security with Turkey
Greek authorities have announced that they will extend the fence along the northeastern border with Turkey.
In addition, following a sharp increase in illegal immigration, Greece also plans to increase its border patrol force with additional boats and aircraft for its coast guard in the eastern Aegean and to install new electronic surveillance equipment, SchenegenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to a government statement, the decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with senior immigration, security and military officials.
Greece has already built a 40 kilometer or 25 mile fence in the Evros river area, also known as Maritsa and Meriç, along the northeast land border. Moreover, the Greek government plans to extend it by 220 kilometers.
Recently, commenting on this situation, the Minister for the Protection of Greek Citizens, Takis Theodorikakos, stated that during the month of August, around 25,000 irregular immigrants tried to enter illegally from the Greek-Turkish border.
“A lot of them who are now trying to come to Greece are mostly from Syria, and people are being forced, because they’re facing dilemmas from the Turkish authorities, it seems, either to go back to Syria, or to advance towards Greece”, noted the Minister.
Meanwhile, Minister Theodorikakos revealed that in the Evros River, the Greek government had employed several hundred border guards in coordination with the Greek army. At the same time, he said an additional 250 border guards would be added during the winter.
In May, the The Greek government has added another 80km to its 35km concrete wall amid fears of a growing number of migrants arriving from the border with Turkeyfollowing the tensions between Athens and Ankara.
In this regard, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis noted that the expanded wall would prevent movement in areas that could otherwise be crossed on foot.
Greece and Turkey are members of NATO, and they have long had strained relations over the issue of immigrants.
As a result, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis no longer exists for him, thus ruling out any dialogue between the two governments in this regard.
After the number of illegal entry attempts rose dramatically, Minister Takis Theodorakakos revealed he added that around 40,000 transfers had been blocked since the start of the year alone.
Furthermore, Türkiye has also repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice of deporting asylum seekers, noting that it violates humanitarian values and international law that puts the lives of vulnerable migrants at risk.