Ankara evacuating migrants, refugees from border post across from Kastanies

Ankara is evacuating thousands of migrants and refugees from the Pazarkule post in Turkey, opposite the Greek border post of Kastanies.

Thousands of migrants and refugees had rushed to the border area a month ago after the Turkish president announced the country’s authorities would not obstruct any from crossing into Europe. Greece shut its borders at Kastanies and held back attempts to enter, while tension and teargas incidents were instigated on the other side.

According to Anadolu state news agency, following the coronavirus pandemic breakout and measures imposed in the country, the prefecture of Edirne has been sending buses to pick up the migrants and refugees and house them under quarantine in hostels at various Turkish cities.

Although there has been no official announcement by the Turkish authorities on a change in policy for the specific issue, sources said that 15 buses with nearly 1,000 people left Edirne on Thursday for Istanbul. Currently estimates are that nearly 3,000 people remain at the Pazarkule border post area, but are expected to leave shortly.

Most of the people at the border lived in Turkey after fleeing recently from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Bangladesh and African nations.