Turkey blames Greece as 12 migrants die

AAPDeutsche Presse Agentur
Asylum seekers sometimes try to reach the Greek border after passing through Edirne in Turkey.
Camera IconAsylum seekers sometimes try to reach the Greek border after passing through Edirne in Turkey. Credit: EPA

At least 12 migrants have frozen to death in the Turkish city of Edirne along the border with Greece after Greek authorities allegedly pushed them back, Turkey's interior minister says.

"Twelve of the 22 migrants pushed back by Greek Border Units, stripped of their clothes and shoes, have frozen to death," Suleyman Soylu wrote on Twitter, sharing graphic images of bodies scattered near what he said was the Ipsala border crossing.

The temperature at Ipsala was 2C with rain, according to the local weather agency.

The authenticity of the images could not be independently verified.

One person was separately hospitalised while a search was underway in the area for others in need of help, the Edirne governor's office said separately.

"The EU is without remedy, weak and void of humane feelings," Soylu wrote, further accusing Greek border units of being "thugs against the victims".

There was no immediate official reaction from Greece.

Human rights organisations criticise Greece for illegal pushbacks to Turkey.

Greece denies this and says it protects European borders in accordance with international law.

Turkey is currently home to about 3.7 million Syrian refugees in addition to hundreds of thousands of migrants from other countries.

Human smugglers often attempt to help migrants try and enter Greece illegally across the Evros river, which is also known as the Maritsa or Meric.

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