European border control agency increases alert level along Greek-Turkish border
Sunday, 01 March 2020
The European border control agency Frontex announced it had deployed reinforcements and increased the alert level along the Greek-Turkish border on Sunday.
Thousands of immigrants now try to cross this border into the EU regularly.
“We have increased the alert level for all the borders with Turkey to “High,” a Frontex spokesman revealed in a press release issued in Brussels. “We received a request for additional help from Greece. We have taken measures to redeploy technical equipment and extra agents to Greece,” he added.
Turkey recently opened its European borders with Greece and Bulgaria, giving free passage to thousands of immigrants and refugees.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had “opened the doors” to immigrants after dozens of Turkish soldiers died in North Syria during air strikes conducted by Syrian president Bachar al-Assad’s regime.
Erdogan has done this to put pressure on the EU and NATO as he wants their support with military operations in Syria.
In the press release, Frontex explained it was closely monitoring the situation along the Greek and Bulgarian borders with Turkey. “We are looking at other ways to help EU countries that border Turkey,” the agency said. “We are in close contact with Greek authorities to discuss what additional support we could provide in this situation, which is evolving rapidly.”
Frontex announced it was also monitoring the situation in Cyprus, which is an EU member. The Northern half is controlled by Turkey, but is not recognised by anyone other than Turkey.
The agency explained it was sending reinforcements to Greece and Bulgaria.
Their largest operation is currently on the Greek islands, with 400 agents in the field. There is also a small group of agents in the Greek region of Evros, on the Turkish border, and another 60 agents deployed to Bulgaria.