A Syrian army soldier, supported by the Turks, in the province of Idleb, on February 27, 2020. - Bakr ALKASEM / AFP
From now on, Turkey will no longer prevent migrants who try to get to Europe from crossing the border. The decision to "open the doors" was taken during an extraordinary security council chaired by Head of State Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the night of Thursday to Friday.
This measure was taken after the death of at least 33 Turkish soldiers in the Idleb region (north-west of Syria) in air strikes attributed by Ankara to the Syrian regime. "We will no longer detain those who want to go to Europe," said the official on condition of anonymity. According to Turkish media reports, groups of migrants were heading for the border with Greece in western Turkey on Friday morning. The news agency DHA thus reported that around 300 Syrian, Iraqi or even Iranian migrants had arrived in the province of Edirne, on the Greek border.
Record increase in arrivals
In the past, Turkey has repeatedly threatened to "open the doors" of Europe to migrants, observers see it as a way to put pressure on the countries of the European Union still traumatized by the migration crisis of the summer 2015. Several hundreds of thousands of people, mostly fleeing conflicts in the Middle East, then traveled to Europe in transit through Turkey. In March 2016, Turkey and the European Union concluded a controversial migration pact which drastically reduced the number of crossings to Greece.
But Athens and the EU have seen an increase in arrivals in recent months. In recent months, Ankara has repeatedly called for more European aid to deal with the humanitarian disaster in Idleb, where nearly a million people fled the bombing of the Damascus regime and its Russian ally, taking refuge in the mostly near the Turkish border.
"We are already welcoming nearly four million refugees and do not have the means or the resources to allow entry to our territory for an additional one million people," said the communications director of the Turkish presidency on Friday. , Fahrettin Altun.
The Academy of Medicine warns of the “worrying” health situation of migrants
"If Europe had the political will, it could very well welcome all migrants", according to Médecins du Monde