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12 Migrants Found Dead Near Greek Border, Turkish Minister Reveals

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu revealed that 12 migrants had been found dead on the Turkish side of the border with Greece.

According to the minister, the victims died due to freezing temperatures in the northwestern town of Ipsala, after being pushed back by Greek forces, reports.

“12 of the 22 migrants pushed by Greek border units stripped naked and froze to death,” the minister said on Twitter.

The minister also condemned the EU member states for their inaction, describing them as “incurable, weak and devoid of human emotion”.

Turkey has previously accused the Mediterranean country of retaliation – a practice of forcing migrants back across borders, usually after they cross, rendering them unable to apply for asylum or even worse – to death in the cold or other natural hardships.

The practice has previously been denounced by the Greek authorities, as last summer several asylum seekers were returned to Turkey from Lesbos after their documents, money and other belongings were taken. The pushbacks are illegal because they violate the European Convention on Human Rights.

On the other hand, Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarashi denied the accusation and described it as “false propaganda”.

The killing of 12 migrants on the Turkish border near Ipsala is a tragedy. Any suggestion that they have been sent back to Turkey is clearly wrong. The Greek minister claimed that they never reached the border.

In addition, Frontex – the European Border Security Agency has been accused of being involved in several pushbacks of asylum seekers, especially from the Aegean Sea, as alleged by several European media organizations.

According to a joint investigation by LightHouse Reports, Der Spiegel, ARDde, Asahi News and Belling Cat, six responses were recorded from April to October 2020.

As a result, Frontex President Fabrice Leggeri called on the EU last month to establish clear rules between the human rights of asylum seekers and border protection after the EU Ombudsman condemned the agency for not being sufficiently transparent.

Similar pushbacks from Frontex have been reported and are currently being reviewed, especially for the eastern borders, including countries such as Lithuania, Poland and Belarus. The European Union is currently dealing with several immigration attacks. The most urgent are the border between Poland and Belarus, the Central Mediterranean route – including Spain and Italy, the English Channel, and the borders of Turkey and Greece.

>> Frontex: The flow of illegal immigration in the European Union exceeded pre-pandemic levels in 2021

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