Turkey flings open the doors to Europe for its 3.6 MILLION Syrian refugees
Greece has teargassed crowds of migrants trying to cross its borders, hours after Turkey said it would no longer block them from getting into Europe. The scenes unfolded on Friday at a border crossing near the Turkish city of Edirne after Turkish police and border guards were ordered to stand aside and allow hundreds of people through.
That prompted a crowd of hundreds to rush the Greek side of the crossing, which was quickly blocked by Greek guards who fired tear gas to keep them back.
Turkey, which is already home to around 3.6 million Syrian refugees, is threatening to unleash a fresh migration crisis on Europe in an attempt to pressure European countries to come to its aid in Syria - where it is trying to prevent a Russian-backed government offensive in Idlib province.
Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said the country will not tolerate the illegal entry of migrants through its borders and will increase its border security.
In a Tweet, Mitsotakis said Greece 'does not bear any responsibility for the tragic events in Syria and will not suffer the consequences of decisions taken by others.'
In the early hours of Friday, more migrants were pictured landing on the Greek island of Lesbos having arrived by boat over the Mediterranean.
Early Friday, Turkish broadcaster NTV showed images of dozens of people - carrying rucksacks, suitcases and plastic bags - crossing fields towards the Greek frontier.
Near the Pazarkule border crossing with Greece, Turkish police stopped some 150 refugees about 1 kilometer (half a mile) from the border, preventing them from going further.
A Greek police official said dozens of people had gathered on the Turkish side of the land border in Greece's Evros region, shouting 'open the borders.' Police and military border patrols on the Greek side readied to prevent people crossing without authorization.
Greek police used smoke grenades at one border crossing, while Bulgaria sent an extra 1,000 troops to its border with Turkey.
Police, coastguard and border security officials have been instructed to stand down and allow people access to European borders by land and sea, the official added.