Greece-Turkey Border Clashes
Migrants burn rubbish against Greek border police's intervention on Turkey's border with Greek in Edirne, Turkey on Feb. 29. Photographer: Enes Yildirim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Greek government has released a video appearing to confirm that Turkish authorities are ferrying illegal migrants to Europe’s land borders and arming them with tear gas, as well as using its coast guard to escort illegals travelling by sea.

video timeline of the migrant border crisis, uploaded to YouTube by government spokesman Stelios Petsas and disseminated via official Greek government accounts on social media, claims to show how the Turkish government have orchestrated events — seemingly as punishment for Europe’s failure to back their Islamist president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his jihadist client rebels in Idlib, Syria, strongly enough.

It recounts how the Turks opened the border on February 28th and “systematically encourage[d] and assist[ed] migrants to reach the Greek border,.

Video showing migrants describe how “President Erdogan has arranged for free rides [to the border]”, and “The [Turkish] authorities drove us to the border and told us to cross” is provided, alongside footage of mostly male migrants piling out of buses and trains.

It even purports to reveal that the Turks are freeing prisoners to send to the border, with one migrant describing how “Police let us out… [and] brought us here and told us that the gates are opened” on camera.

More footage claims to show how “Turkish forces actively help migrants illegally cross the border”, with video of columns of buses described as being escorted to the frontier by the Turkish army, and Greek border security personnel attacked with Turkish-supplied tear gas canisters in an effort to break their lines.

The increasingly unrestrained violence of migrants at the border is also shown in full, with rocks thrown, tyre fires lit, and makeshift battering rams fashioned from tree trunks advanced towards the border gates under cries of “Allahu Akbar!”

The Greek response to this “organised, massive, and illegal attempt of border violation” has been far more robust than at the height of the 2015-16 migrant crisis, however, with border forces reinforced by the Hellenic Army and all asylum applications suspended.

Turkish claims that the Greeks shot one would-be migrant and that “hundreds of thousands” have breached the border have been denounced as “fake news” — although the video warns that, with Greece’s defence of its land border having proved relatively successful, “Turkish media is promoting crossings by sea.”

Boat migrants, who have already swamped once world-renowned Greek beauty spots such as the island of Lesbos, may prove more difficult to turn back than migrants attempting to reach Greece on foot — especially some now appear to be escorted by the Turkish coast guard.

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