Bulgaria braces for migrant arrivals after Turkey's failed coup attempt
SOFIA - ReutersBulgaria is bracing for a potential rush of migrants on its southern border following the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey, Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said on July 22.
Patrols on the border with Turkey have been bolstered and 150 to 200 migrants a day have been detained since the failed coup, Borisov said.
"The situation at the border is much more dramatic," Borisov told local media. "We prepare for a severe problem with the refugees ... The army, police and gendarmerie, they are all working."
Borisov said he would meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Aug. 24 in Istanbul. On July 21, he met Bulgaria's top military personnel to discuss the measures the government and security services were taking.
After the meeting, he said events in the coming weeks might require rapid reactions from the military officers, the government and citizens, to guarantee the security of the country.
Borisov said that Sofia should aim to keep the balance and maintain communication with Turkey, but he criticised some of Erdoğan's moves.
"We do not understand the arrests of journalists, judges, teachers," he said.
Migrant flows into Bulgaria had been easing slightly before the failed coup attempt. The country detained about 14,000 migrants in the first six months of the year, compared with 21,000 in the same period last year.
Few migrants want to stay in the European Union's poorest state, preferring to journey onwards to wealthier EU countries like Germany and Sweden.