Pictures show migrants crossing into EU after Turkey relaxes border controls

Yahoo News UK

Thousands of migrants and refugees from Turkey are attempting to enter Greece after Ankara announced it could no longer enforce a 2016 deal with the EU to prevent migrants entering Europe.

Turkey has said it will not prevent migrants on its territory from reaching Europe, triggering an almost instant rush to the borders it shares with European Union member Greece after the Syrian conflict escalated.

Turkey can no longer enforce a 2016 deal with the EU to prevent migrants entering Europe. (Reuters)
Turkey can no longer enforce a 2016 deal with the EU to prevent migrants entering Europe. (Reuters)
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Read more: Turkey shoots down two Syria warplanes in escalating offensive

The International Organisation for Migration put the number of people along the Greece-Turkey border at 13,000.

A young boy died when a boat capsized off the Greek island of Lesbos on Monday, Greek police said, the first reported fatality since Turkey opened its borders last week.

A man holds a banner as thousands of migrants continue to gather at the Pazarkule Border Gate in Karaagac neighbourhood in Edirne, Turkey to reach Greece. (Getty)
A man holds a banner as thousands of migrants continue to gather at the Pazarkule Border Gate in Karaagac neighbourhood in Edirne, Turkey to reach Greece. (Getty)
Silhouettes of irregular migrants are seen as they continue to wait near the border gate in Edirne, Turkey to reach Greece on Monday. (Getty)
Silhouettes of irregular migrants are seen as they continue to wait near the border gate in Edirne, Turkey to reach Greece on Monday. (Getty)
A child wakes up beside another sleeping child at the Pazarkule Border Gate in Karaagac neighbourhood in Edirne, Turkey. (Getty)
A child wakes up beside another sleeping child at the Pazarkule Border Gate in Karaagac neighbourhood in Edirne, Turkey. (Getty)

Nearly a million Syrians have fled to the Syrian-Turkish border since December, amid heavy fighting in the Idlib region between Turkish-backed rebels and Syrian government forces.

Turkey has an estimated 3.7 million Syrian refugees, as well as migrants from other countries – but previously stopped them from entering Europe.

Read more: Migrants head to Greece as Turkey opens the doors

The deal was proposed as a solution to the migrant crisis in 2015 where almost one million refugees and migrants arrived in the EU.

Hundreds of thousands of people fled to escape the wars in Syria and Afghanistan.

Migrants sleep on a field near Edirne, at the Turkish-Greek border on Monday. (AP)
Migrants sleep on a field near Edirne, at the Turkish-Greek border on Monday. (AP)
Migrants receive food as they gather in a field near Edirne. (AP)
Migrants receive food as they gather in a field near Edirne. (AP)

On Monday, a senior Turkish official told the Reuters news agency: “We have decided, effectively immediately, not to stop Syrian refugees from reaching Europe by land or sea.

Read more: Turkey’s borders with Europe open as migrants gather, says president

"All refugees, including Syrians, are now welcome to cross into the European Union."

The prospect of a new migration crisis caused alarm in European countries already contemplating restrictions on internal borders and public gatherings to fight the coronavirus.

Tear gas is being used during clashes at the Turkish-Greek border near the Pazarkule border gate in Edirne, Turkey to stop migrants from entering Greece. (AP)
Tear gas is being used during clashes at the Turkish-Greek border near the Pazarkule border gate in Edirne, Turkey to stop migrants from entering Greece. (AP)
Greek police fire tear gas at migrants who trying to enter Greece.Thousands of migrants and refugees massed at Turkey's western frontier, trying to enter Greece by land and sea. (AP)
Greek police fire tear gas at migrants who trying to enter Greece.Thousands of migrants and refugees massed at Turkey's western frontier, trying to enter Greece by land and sea. (AP)
A migrant reacts as Greek riot police guard the border gate in Kastanies village on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP)
A migrant reacts as Greek riot police guard the border gate in Kastanies village on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP)

Greece, a European Union member state neighbouring Turkey, vowed not to admit the migrants and responded to the incoming refugees at its border.

Greek police fired tear gas toward migrants who were gathered on its border with Turkey and demanding entry on Saturday.

In addition to some 3.7 million Syrian refugees, Turkey also hosts migrants from Afghanistan, Iran and Morocco, among others.

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