Turkey’s deal with the European Union kicked the refugee crisis in Greece into high gear.
This wave came as the result of a crackdown on migrants in Turkey at the same time fighting intensified in Syria. Two months ago, Istanbul began pushing unregistered migrants to find other places to live, although the push is coming in earnest now.
AMG International’s Tasos Ioannidis explains, “There are about 4 million people who are refugees in Turkey. It’s very expensive to take care of them. President Erdogan wants the European Union to give him more money to keep the refugees there; he’s basically using the refugee flow as leverage to get more money out of the European Union.”
However, Ioannidis believes Erdogan has another motive for moving people around; he’s also using them as a buffer zone. “Erdogan considers the Kurds unfriendly, or enemies of Turkey, so he’s trying to dilute the Kurdish population. He’s pushing to get the United States and the European Union to sign off on him moving refugees in that area. So he’s basically using the refugees for political leverage and to achieve his goals.”
Erdogan also warned that unless a ‘safe-zone’ became a reality within Syria soon, he would force Syrian refugees out of Turkey.
Aid workers warn of catastrophe in Greece
Ioannidis says that for several years, the flow of refugees coming to Greece slowed down. This latest from Turkey ended the respite for Greece. “Now, in the last two months, we have seen a significant increase in refugee flows. The week before, there were almost 3000 people that crossed into Greece. Yesterday, there were about 300 that cross the different places in Greece. Yesterday, the main crossing point was the island of Samos.”
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Mission Network News, R.B. Klama