Greek police have conducted a dawn raid on a refugee camp in Lavrio, near Athens, evicting Kurdish refugees sheltering there. The camp was home to around 50 Kurdish refugees from Turkey, Syria and Iraq, including women and children.
The Lavrio refugee camp was under the scrutiny of the Turkish government, who had labelled it a “terrorist training camp”, alleging that the site served as a haven for members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and other banned left-wing organisations from Turkey.
Greek government-affiliated media outlets reported the raid as a “gesture to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan”. It is feared that some of the Kurdish refugees might face extradition as a result of the operation.
Citing its unsuitability for accommodating refugees due to weak infrastructure, the Greek Migration and Asylum Ministry had decided in April on a gradual shut-down of the Lavrio camp. As part of this process, approximately 100 of the 150 refugees residing in the camp had already been relocated to other shelters in the region.
But Turkish pro-government media outlets continued to publish reports making accisations against Greece, alleging that the Greek authorities had held covert meetings with PKK members in December 2022, and that the closure of the camp was merely a ruse to avoid pressure from Turkey.
In addition to being a place of shelter, the camp also operated as a solidarity centre, providing support and fostering a sense of community among its inhabitants.