Twelve of the 22 refugees (later rose to 19) who tried to cross into Greece from Turkey were found dead 2 February in Paşaköy Village Mandakoru region at Ipsala district of Edirne. The bodies of the 12 refugees who had frozen to death were taken from Edirne and brought to Yenibosna Forensic Medicine Institute.
Turkey’s Minister of Interior also confirmed the death of the refugees in strange tweet on his official Twitter account yesterday.
“12 of the 22 migrants pushed back by Greek Border Units, stripped off from their clothes and shoes have frozen to death. EU is remediless, weak and void of humane feelings.Greek border units thug against victims, tolerant towards FETO” Soylu said.
📍 Greece Ipsala Border
12 of the 22 migrants pushed back by Greek Border Units, stripped off from their clothes and shoes have frozen to death.
EU is remediless, weak and void of humane feelings.
Greek border units thug against victims, tolerant towards FETO pic.twitter.com/EP1TOqsGCB
— Süleyman Soylu (@suleymansoylu) February 2, 2022
Today, Edirne Governor’s Office issued another statement regarding the refugees.
“The number of refugees who have frozen to death rose to 19”, the statement said. The governor’s office also repeated the line that the refugees were pushed back from Greece to Turkey.
İpsala ilçemizde Yunanlılar tarafından geri itilen ve donarak hayatını kaybeden göçmenlerin bulunduğu bölgede dün ve bugün devam eden arama ve kurtarma faaliyetlerinde cansız bedenine ulaştığımız göçmen sayısı maalesef 19'a ulaşmıştır. https://t.co/4Iw3959LTf pic.twitter.com/ajrw8A3QzA
— Edirne Valiliği (@edirne_valiligi) February 3, 2022
Deaths at borders
The photos taken of the refugees shows that the refugees who lost their lives did not have clothes on them which has been a common policy of the Greek soldiers.
However, the situation on the Turkish side is not so very different
On 24 August a group of 150 mainly Syrian refugees who crossed the River Meriç from Turkey into Greece were sent back by Greek troops. It was reported that 45 of the group were then thrown into the river by Turkish soldiers and that five of them drowned.
Turkey having borders with both Iran, Syria and Greece, means hundreds of refugees are losing their lives at these borders either by drowning, or freezing to death.
The Van (Wan) Branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD) announced on 4 January that 49 refugees had frozen to death in the past 3 years while trying to cross the border near the southern province Van alone.
On the first day on 2022 an Afghan refugee mother froze to death on the Turkish-Iranian border after giving some of her clothes to her children to protect them.