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Clashes Between Refugees, Police Erupt Again on Greek-Turkey Border

Migrants are seen near a bus station in Edirne, Turkey, March 6, 2020.
Migrants are seen near a bus station in Edirne, Turkey, March 6, 2020.

Greek authorities used tear gas and a water cannon Friday morning to prevent migrants from crossing the border into their country from Turkey.

On the other side of the border, Turkish authorities fired volleys of tear gas into the Greek territory.

Thousands of refugees have reached Turkey’s eastern border from land and sea, and have been camping out since last week in hopes of making their way to Greece and eventually to other Western European countries.

Greece has declared its border closed, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country would no longer serve as the gatekeeper for Europe after airstrikes by Russian-backed government forces in Syria killed 33 Turkish soldiers last week.

Erdogan’s decision has alarmed governments in Europe and the EU is insisting that Turkey is obliged to keep the refugees and other migrants since Brussels is disbursing billions of euros as part of a deal reached with Turkey in 2015.

More than 3.5 million Syrians have taken refuge in Turkey to escape the civil war in Syria.

Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed Thursday to a cease-fire in northwestern Syria, following talks on easing tensions in the region.