Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi during his visit to Evros region on Tuesday stated that “A group of 38 migrants was found, 35 Syrians and three from Palestine that illegally entered Greece. According to their statement, they said that they initially entered Greece on 14 August and hid for a day and afterwards they sent their signal. When the signal was located by the Greek authorities the group was found and the people were transferred here, at the border post, where we offered them medical support and all are very well”.
He also added that a pregnant woman was transferred to hospital for precautionary reasons.
“The second very important thing is that they said they were coming from the opposite Turkish coast of Evros River and were pushed to the islet by the Turkish authorities.
Οfficially, the Turkish authorities said they have arrested the migrants inside Turkey but they did not allow them apply for international protection, as Turkey is committed to do by the International Law. Instead, the Turkish authorities took them to Evros coast and by threat of violence, they pressed them to move towards Greece” Mitarachi said.
Finally, Mitarachi said that as it derives from the testimonies, a five-year-old child died on Turkish ground and this is really unpleasant. “We will move via the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent in order for the child’s body to be located on the Turkish islet and delivered to its family to bury it with respect.
A group of undocumented migrants who were picked up in Greece after being stranded on an islet in Evros River told Greek police on Tuesday that they were directed by Turkish military police to contact NGOs and humanitarian organizations, and told Greece would save them, according to Citizen Protection Ministry circles.
The migrants testified before Hellenic Police this during a preliminary investigation, after they crossed into Greek territory by boat and were picked up on Monday night.
The 38 migrants, including women and children, were stranded for a week on the islet and Greek authorities had said this past week they had contacted their Turkish counterparts with the islet’s coordinates, which lay on Turkish territory.
According to the sources, the migrants were initially located in Greece by a drone. Their position was confirmed at 18:30 by the border guards at Didymoticho. None of the migrants were in life-threatening danger, the sources said, while a pregnant woman was moved to the Didymoticho General Hospital as a precaution. The children were also found to be in good health, none of them had been bitten by a scorpion as social media claimed, and none of them had a fever. They have been moved to a temporary housing facility.
The sources said they told police during a preliminary investigation that they were part of a larger group of migrants who refused to return to Syria after being arrested by Turkish authorities. They were transported to a detention center in Edirne (Adrianoupoli), where they claimed hundreds of other migrants are being held by Turkey.
Two weeks ago, they claimed to Greek police, Turkish military police had transported them on vans to the Turkish side of Evros River, where Arab speakers directed them to board motorized dinghies and then transported them to the islet.