Gunfire from Turkish side of Evros border documented by Frontex, generates reax by EU Home Affairs commissioner

Friday, 12 March 2021 22:59
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The latest gunfire reported along the Greek-Turkey border along the Evros River "reached" as far as Brussels this week, with EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson expressing the Union's concern over the latest incidents.

At least three instances of gunfire from the Turkish side of the border were confirmed by Frontex personnel over the recent week, as the EU external borders force now deployed on the western bank of the Evros (Maritsa) River to aid Greek authorities in guarding the frontier. Initial reports pointed to Turkish gendarmerie personnel firing in the air when spotting Frontex patrols on the Greek side of the river. 

European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri detailed all three of the incidents in a letter to Johansson, with the latter expressing what she called concern over gunfire at the Union's external borders.

Since the shooting incidents Frontex guards have been ordered to wear bullet-proof vests.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself generated a serious confrontation at the Evros border exactly a year ago, when he said his government would not block third country nationals from trying to illegally enter Greece from Turkish territory.

In contrast to the explosive migrant crisis in the eastern Aegean in 2015 - during leftist SYRIZA's first months in government - this time around the center-right government ordered police and military units to block all attempts by third country nationals - mostly from the Middle East and Afghanistan/Pakistan - from breaching Greek/EU borders.

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