Greece to extend border fence with Turkey by 80 km: minister

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Greece has announced plans to extend its border barrier with Turkey by 80 kilometers (50 miles) as pushbacks and harsh treatment by Athens of migrants trying to cross the country continue.

The existing 35-kilometre border barrier is to be extended by 80 kilometres, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis told radio station Skai on Sunday. This would secure all areas that could otherwise be traversed on foot.

The announcement comes amid high tensions between Athens and Ankara.

The two NATO members are at odds over natural gas, territories and many other issues.

More recently, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis no longer existed for him, ruling out the possibility of talks.

Speaking in a televised address following a Cabinet meeting, Erdoğan said Mitsotakis spoke out against Turkey and urged the US Congress not to allow the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey. Ankara.

On the other side, Turkey has repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice of pushing back asylum seekers, saying it violates humanitarian values ​​and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.

Turkey’s five Aegean provinces – Çanakkale, Balıkesir, Izmir, Muğla and Aydın – are prime locations for refugees seeking to leave Turkey for the European Union, with Greek islands within sight of the Turkish coast.

In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have made short but perilous journeys across the Aegean to reach northern and western Europe in search of a better life.

Hundreds of people have died at sea as many boats carrying refugees often sink or capsize. The Turkish Coastguard Command rescued thousands more.

Pushbacks are seen as contrary to international refugee protection agreements which state that people should not be deported or returned to a country where their life or safety could be at risk because of their race, religion, nationality or affiliation. to a social or political group.

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