Border Guards Allegedly Open Fire on Migrant Crowd Trying to Enter Europe


While defending its right to enforce control of its borders, Greece is denying reports that a Syrian migrant was killed in an attempt to enter the country illegally from neighboring Turkey.

The BBC reported Turkish officials have claimed a man was shot and later died a week ago after Greek security forces opened fire on a group of migrants who had gathered on its border in an attempt to gain entry into the European country.

Authorities in the Turkish city of Edirne, which is located near its northern borders with Greece and Bulgaria, issued a statement claiming a Syrian man died in hospital after the incident.

Five other migrants were also wounded by Greek security forces, authorities in Turkey alleged.

Thousands of migrants attempted to force their way into Greece after Turkey opened its border with the European nation, Fox News reported.

Watch: Matt Gaetz Hilariously Torches Democrat Senator Accused of Bribery on House Floor

In response to the allegation, a top official representing Greek’s newly elected conservative government accused Turkey of spreading “fake news.”

Stelios Petsas, a spokesman for the Greek government, said, “There is no such incident with fire from the Greek authorities.”

Greek Minister of State Giorgos Gerapetritis told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour his country has used “no excessive violence” against migrants.

Tensions in the region were heightened after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered his country’s security forces on Feb. 28 to allow refugees to pass unimpeded into Europe — breaking a 2016 migration agreement between the European Union and Turkey.

After signing the EU-Turkey agreement, the Turkish government was promised billions in euros in exchange for helping to prevent mass migration to Europe.

In response to Erdogan’s decision to unleash refugees in his country from Syria’s still-raging civil war on Europe, thousands of migrants have gathered near the country’s border with Greece, while more have attempted to cross the Aegean Sea in order to make entry onto the Greek island of Lesbos as well as other eastern Greek islands with severely overcrowded refugee camps.

Watch: Biden Makes Inappropriate Joke Toward Italian PM, Threatens Her with Jill's Maiden Name

A child died last week when a boat headed for Lesbos capsized in the Aegean, the first confirmed fatality during the current influx of migration.

Reactionaries across social media have been quick to condemn the alleged killing of a Syrian migrant and to denounce Greece for attempting to enforce border control.

Although reports that a person was killed by Greek forces appear to be unsubstantiated, Greece has faced strong condemnation.

Critics have argued that refusing Syrian migrants entry into Europe is a violation of basic human rights that supersede Greece’s national sovereignty.

Amnesty International argued, “The inhumane measures which the Greek authorities are taking to prevent people from entering the country are an appalling betrayal of Greece’s human rights responsibilities and will put the lives of people fleeing violence at risk.”

“Everyone has a right to seek asylum,” the organization’s Eve Geddie said in a statement. “Deporting people without due process could mean sending them back to the horrors of war or exposing them to grave human rights violations.”

With Turkey hosting millions of Syrian refugees, Erdogan claims the nations of Europe must take in their “fair share of the burden” in regards to migrants.

The Islamist leader said that “hundreds of thousands” are amassing in an attempt to enter Europe and that nations in the European Union should expect that number to be in the “millions” soon, France 24 reported.

While Syria’s years-long civil war has tragically resulted in thousands of men, women and children being killed or maimed — and millions displaced — the conflict does not require a sovereign nation such as Greece to open its borders.

While Turkey has had a hand in the Syrian civil war since its outbreak in 2011, Greece has had no involvement in the conflict and should not be expected to bear any responsibly for its aftermath.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis released a statement saying his country will do what is necessary to protect its sovereign borders from a wave of migration.

“My duty is to protect the sovereignty of my own country. At the same time, Greece is also doing Europe a great service. The borders of Greece are the external borders of the European Union. We will protect them,” Mitsotakis said.

Greek Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis said of the wave of migrants, “This is an invasion,” France 24 reported.

Mitsotakis is correct to direct authorities in his country to make border security a top priority, and he has the support of the people of Greece.

Breitbart reported that in a recent poll, 76 percent of Greeks said they support tough border control while 84 percent of those polled said they are concerned about Turkey’s attitude toward the current crisis.

Greece is under no moral obligation to prioritize the needs of refugees over its own citizens, especially if it is to the detriment of its public safety, health and culture.

Having authority over its territory is a fundamental aspect of any just nation’s sovereignty, and that territory begins at its borders.

Any argument decrying Greece’s decision to exercise that sovereignty is a denial of the values of democracy.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , , ,
Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.