Turkey Opens Gates Allowing Millions of Syrian Migrants to Flood into Europe
Turkish government will allow refugees from Syria unhindered passage through country
Turkey has announced that it has opened up its border gates to allow millions of migrants unrestricted passage into Europe from Syria.
The Turkish government warned Thursday said that it would open its border with Syria, allowing any and all migrants from the Middle East to flood into mainland Europe.
A senior Turkish official said that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has decided to no longer allocate resources to stopping Syrian migrants from reaching Europe by land or sea, Reuters reports.
Turkish police, coast guard, and border security officials have all been ordered to stand down and let migrants pass through, according to the senior official’s announcement.
President Erdogan has been threatening to take such action for a long time now, should his demands not be met.
The move comes as an imminent wave of nearly 1 million Syrian migrants are believed to be on the move after being displaced from Idlib.
Ragio Soylu, a prominent Turkish journalist spoke out concerning the announcement on Twitter:
“Land and sea crossings to Europe would be free to pass for the NEXT 72 HOURS and Turkey will open the borders immediately.”
Since then, President Erdogan and his ministers have made repeated threats to open the border.
Last year Erdogan made several threats to “open the gates.”
In September, he made a threat in which he demanded aid from European countries to build a “security zone” along the border to settle around one million asylum seekers.
“Give us logistical support, and we can build houses up to 30 kilometers into the north of Syria,” he said.
“Either that happens, or we open the gates,” he added.
As of September, EU spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud noted that the political bloc had paid Turkey 5.6 billion euros as part of the EU-Turkey migrant pact, according to Breitbart.
Greece is the likely first stop for any of the migrants heading to Europe in the next 72 hours and was already expecting a surge in migrant numbers this year, with Manos Logothetis, the government commissioner for the initial reception of refugees, predicting 100,000 by the end of 2020.
It is estimated that as many as 3.6 million Syrian asylum seekers are currently in Turkey.
If Turkey were to let them all head to Europe unimpeded, it would make the 2015-2016 migrant crisis look like a walk in the park.