Hundreds of refugees found naked on the border between Greece and Turkey
The issue of migrants crossing from Turkey to Greece has long fueled tensions between these two neighbors who hardly like each other (archives ).
Ninety-two refugees were found naked after being forced, according to Athens, to cross the Evros, the river which separates Turkey from Greece, “an inhuman image”, reacted on Sunday the Greek Minister of Health Civil protection.
A spokeswoman for the European border surveillance agency Frontex, Paulina Bakula, confirmed to AFP the rescue of the 92 migrants on Friday with the assistance of the Greek authorities.
[Frontex] agents said the migrants were found naked and some of them had visible injuries, she added, speaking from that organisation's headquarters, Warsaw. while Athens assures that Turkey forced these people to undress before deporting them to the Greek side of the border.
Greek Civil Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos , accused Ankara of instrumentalizing illegal immigration, but Turkey denied any involvement in the degrading treatment inflicted on these refugees.
In a series of particularly virulent Twitter messages, worded in Turkish, Greek and English, the Turkish presidency has blamed its Greek neighbor, whom it accuses of inhumane behavior.
“We urge Greece to quickly renounce its inhumane attitude towards refugees and to end the accusations false and groundless against Turkey. »
— Fahrettin Altun, Communications Director of the Turkish Presidency
With these ridiculous actions, Greece is once again showing the world that it does not even respect the dignity of oppressed peoples, publishing the photos of the refugees she deported after stripping them of their belongings, he adds.
Turkish Deputy Interior Minister Ismail Catakli had previously called on Athens to stop the manipulation and dishonesty.
Most of those affected, Syrians and Afghans , told Frontex agents that three Turkish army vehicles had transferred them near Evros, assured Takis Theodorikakos in an interview with the private television channel Skai.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Sunday condemned such cruel and degrading treatment on Twitter and called for a full investigation into the incident.
Greek Minister for Migration , Notis Mitarachi, on Saturday called the incident a shame for civilization.
Greece is regularly singled out by NGOs and various journalistic investigations for illegal pushbacks and violence carried out at its maritime and land borders with Turkey. But it has always denied having recourse to this practice contrary to international law.
At the end of September at the United Nations platform, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Greece for turning the Aegean Sea into a cemetery with its repressive policy.
Mr. Attun insisted again on Sunday: Greek authorities must first be held accountable for the babies they left to drown in the Aegean Sea, the people they robbed and beat with belts in Meriç [the Turkish name of Évros, Ed] and left to freeze to death in coordination with Frontex, he wrote.
Reacting to the In the incident on Sunday, the NGO Mare Liberum said it believes that in the Evros region, human rights crimes are systematic and committed daily by Turkey and Greece.
When these crimes are discussed publicly by members of the governments, it only serves to fuel the conflict between these two countries, she continued.