Turkey, Greece trade accusations over 92 naked migrants

Oct 17, 2022, 6:05 AM | Updated: 10:29 am

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey and Greece on Monday exchanged more mutual recrimination over 92 migrants who were found stripped naked by Greek authorities at the two countries’ joint border, a day after the United Nations called for an investigation into the incident.

Greek migration minister Notis Mitarachi on Saturday tweeted a photo of the naked migrants, some with bodily harm, accusing Turkey of pushing them into Greece and stripping them naked before doing so. The claim prompted Fahrettin Altun, the communications director of Turkey’s president, to accuse Greece of engaging in ” fake news.”

On Monday, Turkey’s foreign minister again rejected the allegation and accused Athens of “shameless and reckless” behavior. He also took aim at European Union nations, accusing them of encouraging EU-member Greece to “slander” Turkey.

The Greek government’s spokesman, Giannis Oikonomou, meanwhile, charged that Turkey was “continuing to openly instrumentalize migrants and even with unprecedented and unthinkable practices of barbarism.”

The exchange of accusations comes at a time when tensions between the two neighbors is running high, with the two engaging in mutual accusations of airspace violations and Turkey accusing Greece of militarizing islands in the Aegean Sea in violation of international treaties and threatening possible military action.

“To be able to appear right even when you are in the wrong like Greece – you need to be shameless and reckless. It’s only Greece that can achieve this,” Cavusoglu said at a news conference at the end of meeting in Istanbul of the foreign ministers of Turkic states.

“It is natural that Greece … attempts to slander Turkey as its crimes increases,” Cavusoglu said. “Unfortunately, there are European Union member countries who want to believe this, who want to accept everything that Greece says as true … This is what encourages Greece.”

Greek police said Saturday that police officers found the migrants stark naked on Friday, “some with bodily injuries.” They had entered the country using plastic boats to cross the Evros River — known as Meric in Turkey — which forms a border between the two countries.

“This inhuman behavior is a disgrace to civilization, and the Turkish leadership, instead of blaming others for what is happening on its territory, should investigate the incident, punish those directly involved and honor its obligations under its Joint Declaration with the EU,” the Greek government spokesman said in reference to a 2016 deal to stem the arrival of refugees.

Turkey regularly accuses Greece of violently pushing back migrants entering the country by land and sea. Turkey’s coast guard frequently shares videos of such pushbacks.

Greece accuses Turkey, which hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, of “pushing forward” migrants to put pressure on the EU.

The U.N. refugee agency said it was “deeply distressed by the shocking reports,” condemning the “degrading treatment” and calling for an investigation.

On Monday, Turkey’s Interior Ministry said in a statement that a total of 61,737 migrants had been illegally pushed back from Greece since 2020, and that 152 migrants died as a result of the pushbacks. So far this year, 26,363 migrants were illegally forced back and 59 of them died, the ministry said.

“We strongly reject that the name of our country, which has been pursuing humanitarian policies for irregular migrants … be mentioned side by side with Greece, which is well known for the inhumane treatment it has inflicted on immigrants for years,” read the ministry’s statement.

___

Derek Gatopoulos contributed to this report from Athens, Greece.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of migration issues at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This undated photo provided on Nov. 27, 2022, by the North Korean government shows North Korean lea...
Associated Press

Kim’s daughter called ‘most beloved’ child in 2nd appearance

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea’s leader has taken his daughter to a meeting with missile scientists in her second public appearance, in which state media called her Kim Jong Un’s “most beloved” child, deepening outside debate over whether she is being primed as his successor. The daughter, believed to Kim’s second child named […]
22 hours ago
Associated Press

Shooting in Atlanta neighborhood kills 1 person, wounds 5

ATLANTA (AP) — A shooting in an Atlanta neighborhood Saturday evening killed one person and wounded five, police said. The Atlanta Police Department said several shots were fired during a dispute around 8 p.m. on the 17th Street bridge in Atlantic Station, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Police said the shooting occurred after a group of […]
22 hours ago
FILE - A lobster rears its claws after being caught off Spruce Head, Maine, Aug. 31, 2021. Environm...
Associated Press

Whole Foods decision to pull lobster divides enviros, pols

Environmental groups are at odds with politicians in New England in the wake of a decision by Whole Foods to stop selling Maine lobster.
22 hours ago
A crime scene is taped off at New Season Church in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. Me...
Associated Press

Drive-by shooting injures 2 at funeral at Nashville church

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A drive-by shooting in Nashville on Saturday injured two people as they and others were walking out of church from the funeral of a woman who was fatally shot earlier this month, according to police. Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson Don Aaron said the afternoon shooting occurred outside New Season Church, […]
22 hours ago
FILE - Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah, is pictured on Sept. 15, 2015. A woman died and a ...
Associated Press

Woman dies on hike in Utah’s Zion Park, husband rescued

A woman died and a man was rescued after they were caught in extreme cold weather while hiking in Utah's Zion National Park.
22 hours ago
FILE - Nick Fuentes, far-right activist, holds a rally at the Lansing Capitol, in Lansing, Mich., N...
Associated Press

Trump faulted for dinner with white nationalist, rapper Ye

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is renewing attention to his long history of turning a blind eye to bigotry after dining with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West just days into his third campaign for the White House. Trump had dinner Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago club […]
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Turkey, Greece trade accusations over 92 naked migrants