Thousands of illegal migrants are anxiously waiting to cross into Europe from Turkey’s northwestern border with Greece.
Migrants have been keeping pushing the Pazarkule border gate in the Edirne province to cross into Greece during the last five days.
But they have mostly been facing severe intervention of Greek security forces, who have been trying to stop them by firing tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets.
Jafari, an Iranian migrant, arrived in the border zone from the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri five days ago.
He was hit on his head by a tear gas capsule when he attempted to cross the border the last time.
“There are four stitches on my head,” he told Xinhua. So far, he has tried to sneak into Greece 10 times in vain.
“I don’t know for how long I will stay here, but I will keep forcing the border gate day and night,” he said.
Another Iranian migrant told Xinhua that he came to Pazarkule with a couple of friends on Friday after he heard from the television that Turkey would no longer stop refugees from going to Europe.
He was also hit by a gas canister. As a result, his ears burned. “Everyone was crying, even children in the woods were badly affected as the wind carried the smoke,” he explained the situation.
Migrants have recently started to use the Evros River, separating the two countries, to cross to the Greek side by inflatable boats, rafts, or fishing boats.
The Doyran village along the river shore has become a hot spot for them for a slightly higher success rate for crossing to the other side.
Many refugees are now trying to set up tents there to spend the night in a warmer place as the temperature in the area has dropped to around one degree Celsius.
Ramiz, a Syrian migrant on the shore, came from Turkey’s southeastern province of Adana two days ago with borrowed money.
“Now, we will wait and try to cross the border whenever possible,” he told Xinhua. If he could not manage to go, then he would go back to Adana and pay his debt.
Last week, Ankara opened its border gates to Europe for illegal migrants after the killing of at least 33 Turkish soldiers in an airstrike in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, the last rebel-held stronghold in Syria.
Turkey is hosting over 3.7 million Syrians in its territory and more than 1.5 million others, fleeing from the war in Idlib, are waiting outside the Turkish border in Syria.
The Turkish government announced earlier that it could no longer cope with a new flow of refugees alone.