Thousands of Migrants in Turkey Plotting To Break Into Europe
Pro-migration activists and Syrian migrants in Turkey are working to form a massive caravan of migrants in an attempt to force into the European Union illegally, using social media channels with as many as 70,000 followers.
It is unclear how many migrants have signed on for the plan to travel from Turkey to the European Union but interest in the so-called Caravan or Convoy of Light has been seen across social media, with the organisers using a channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram that has 70,000 followers to organise the project.
The organisers of the caravan are allegedly telling those who wish to participate to bring tents, life jackets, first aid supplies, food, water and other supplies according to a report from the European Union-funded website InfoMigrants.
“We have been in Turkey for 10 years,” an administrator of the Telegram channel wrote and added, “We are protected… but Western countries must share the burden.”
A Facebook page reportedly belonging to the caravan that has amassed just over 2,000 followers, released a statement last weekend claiming that the caravan was not being organised by people smugglers saying smugglers “suck the blood of young people.”
On Tuesday the group stated that they had not yet received permission from the Turkish government for the participants in the caravan to cross Turkish territory saying, “And since the convoy will move from Turkish territory, it is imperative that we comply with the Turkish law to which all those on Turkish territory are subject, regardless of their nationality.”
In February of 2020, the Turkish government did grant permission for thousands of migrants to head to the border with Greece as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced he would be “opening the gates” by ordering Turkish border and police officials to stand down and allow migrants through.
Tensions between Turkey and Greece remain high and the Greek government has blamed Turkey for a surge of attempted illegal crossings this year, with Greek Citizens’ Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos stating last weekend that the Turkish government was weaponizing illegal migration.
According to Minister Theodorikakos, around 40,000 migrants attempted to illegally enter Greece in August and claimed Greek authorities have stopped at least 150,000 illegals so far this year.
“Our message is that no one crosses Evros illegally; we will not allow it,” he said and added, “The border is guarded 24 hours a day in a determined manner by the police and the army, and Erdogan must take this into account.”