Column of migrants marches wearily towards Greece after Turkey opens border

Marching on wearily in desperate search of a better life, a column of migrants makes its way toward ­Turkey’s border with Greece.

But when they arrive at the barrier in the Edirne district the long line of families, lugging their belongings as children trail behind, will be refused entry.

Greece and Bulgaria said they would push back fresh waves of migrants after Turkey announced it was opening its borders to allow them to reach the EU.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the move was forced because his country can no longer handle the migrant crisis. Turkey had previously prevented them leaving for Europe under an aid-linked deal with Brussels.

It has been hosting 3.7 million migrants, a number expected to increase as thousands flee the bombardment in Idlib, the last rebel-held region in Syria.


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Greece says it has stopped nearly 10,000 crossing the land border from Turkey. And many were met with tear gas amid skirmishes at the frontier.

But at least 500 people on seven boats reached the Greek islands of Lesbos, Samos and Chios, where camps are already overcrowded. Greek premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis called a meeting of his national security council yesterday.

Before 2015, migrants could also cross into Bulgaria by land. But that border is now secured by a four-metre-high steel wall topped with razor wire.

It also features infra-red, motion-sensitive cameras and armed guards are stationed along its 50-mile length.

Mr Erdogan’s decision came after at least 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in air strikes in Idlib last week.

The EU’s border protection agency, Frontex, said it was now on “high alert”.

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