The developments of the greco-turkish relations have an direct impact on the rights of refugees in both Greece and Turkey
Tensions between Turkey and Greece have increased in recent weeks. The historic conflict over sovereign rights, land claims and economic zones has been smouldering for decades and is manifested in occasional mutual military provocations or airspace violations.
Time and again, refugees are caught between the fronts on their way to Europe. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not afraid to use them as leverage in disputes with his European neighbour.
Thus, in February 2020, the last time tensions flared, he declared the borders to Greece open and had tens of thousands of migrants brought to the border. With fatal consequences for the people. The Greek border guards as well as Frontex welcomed the refugees with tear gas and water cannons. One person was killed by a gunshot. For several weeks, the people waited at the checkpoints until they were taken back inland by buses.
Refugees must not be a bargaining chip in geopolitical disputes! We demand safe escape routes for all people on the move!