More illegal migrants cross into Europe

(Representational image) Migrants rest in a temporary transit center for migrants (Xinhua/Xin Yuewei/IANS)

Refugees have mostly started to cross the border to the Greek side via the Evros River in either fishing boats or inflatable boats over the last two days, according to local journalists 

ATHENS, Nov. 1, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Refugees seeking reunion with family members in Germany take part in a hunger strike in Athens, Greece, on Nov. 1, 2017. Greek Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas outlined on Wednesday the government's plan to improve the living conditions of thousands of refugees and migrants stranded in Greece ahead of winter, pleading to Europe and Turkey for more efforts to keep alive the 2016 deal aimed to curb flows into Europe and share the burden. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos/IANS) by .
Refugees seeking reunion with family members in Germany. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos/IANS)

Over 80,000 illegal migrants have so far crossed into Europe from Turkey’s northwestern borders, Turkish government said in a statement.

“This number may increase in the coming days,” Fahrettin Altun, Communication Director of the Turkish presidency, said in a statement on Sunday, noting that “humanitarian suffering, unprecedented displacement and migration challenge in Syria” is not only Turkey’s problem, but that of the region, Europe, and the entire world.

Altun also noted that Turkey is open to “serious and robust” cooperation, and it will do its part, but other countries must do their part as well on the issue, media reported.

Meanwhile, thousands of refugees, including Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians, and Pakistanis, seeking better living conditions, have been forcing Turkey’s northwestern province of Edirne to cross into Europe.

After Turkey announced on Thursday that it would no longer stop the migrants from going to Europe, refugees have gathered near the Pazarkule border gate.

Refugees have mostly started to cross the border to the Greek side via the Evros River in either fishing boats or inflatable boats over the last two days, according to local journalists.

“Turkish villagers, those with fishing boats, have been carrying refugees to the other side of the river,” Yasin Akgul, a photojournalist, told Xinhua.

TRIPOLI, May 23, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Illegal migrants from Africa sit at a gathering point after being rescued by Libyan coast guards off the coastal town of Tajoura, 15 kilometres east of the capital Tripoli on May 23, 2017. (Xinhua/Hamza Turkia/IANS) (lrz) by .
Representational image

The price of this journey for one person varies between 35 and 70 U.S. dollars, Akgul said, noting that no fee is required for children.

Many refugees are spending days and nights along the river to bargain with the fishermen for a more affordable price, Akgul said.

“The villagers here told us that those who could manage to cross the river to the other side have to walk approximately 1.5 km in the buffer zone, trying not to be caught,” he added.

Those who were captured by Greek security forces were pushed back to Turkey, Akgul continued, saying that Greek soldiers were often seen covering the different parts of the river shore with barbed wires.

Migrants in UK

Turkey decided to open its border gates for illegal migrants after at least 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in an air strike in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, the last rebel-held stronghold.

Around 1.5 million Syrian refugees, fleeing from the bombardments of Syrian forces in Idlib, have also flooded Turkey’s border with Syria.

Currently, Turkish authorities do not allow these refugees to cross the border into Turkey, keeping them on the Syrian side.

Hosting over 3.7 million Syrian refugees in its territory, the Turkish government earlier announced that it could no longer cope with a new flow of refugees alone.

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