Three women found dead on Greece-Turkey border

Three women found dead on Greece-Turkey border

THESSALONIKI – Agence France Presse
Three women found dead on Greece-Turkey border

Greek police discovered the bodies of three women on Oct. 10 near the banks of the River Evros (Maritsa or Meriç) which marks the border with Turkey, and is a crossing for migrants and asylum seekers.

A forensic surgeon was to establish the cause of death as authorities probed if a crime had been committed, a police source said.

There has been a sharp increase this year in migrants and refugees seeking to cross the river to gain entry to EU member Greece from Turkey following a border clampdown on refugees by Eastern European states.

The rise has seen police call for extra manpower as Athens seeks to reinforce the border area.

Twelve people drowned in the river between January and July, according to Greek official figures, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees agency puts the number of victims since 2000 in the hundreds.

According to Greek police data, 8,407 migrants and asylum seekers were detained on the border in the first six months of this year compared with 1,611 for the same period last year.

“There has been a major increase in the past two months, controls are difficult. At least five traffickers are arrested every day,” local media recently quoted Chryssovalantis Yalamas, in charge of departmental border border control, as saying.

“We do not have the means to deal with this increase,” he added.

Although the influx via Turkey has slowed substantially since more than a million arrivals, mainly by sea, three years ago, Greek islands off the Turkish coast have seen a rise in numbers this year over last -13,800 January-to-June arrivals this year compared with 9,518 for the same period in 2017.