Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece to form joint border patrols

Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece to sign an agreement to form joint border patrols with aim of reducing migratory pressure on Europe

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Novinite, the Bulgarian news agency, has reported that Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece are signing an agreement today to establish a common contact centre and form joint border patrols.

The interior ministers of Turkey and Greece, Sebahattin Ozturk and Nikos Voutsis, will attend the signing ceremony in Sofia, according to dnevnik.bg.

The joint contact centre is to be established on Bulgarian territory near the border zone of Kapitan Andreevo and will accommodate specialists from Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.

Specialists from the three neighboring countries will work to reduce migratory pressure on Europe.

TIR drivers speaking to Turkish news site Son Dakika complained they had been waiting to exit from the Kapikule border for three days due to reduced staff on the Bulgarian side after bribery operations resulted in customs officers being taken off duty or into custody.

Turkish drivers allegedly also claimed that they were experiencing problems because of migrants, mostly of Syrian origin, seeking their way into European countries.

At Bulgaria’s main Harmanli refugee camp 1600 people are packed together into former military barracks in hopes of a new future in Europe, Agence France Presse has reported.

Bulgaria has reinforced its border with Turkey with razor wire and deployed additional police to patrol, precautions which have reduced the influx of migrants, but the numbers remain high.

Migrants in Bulgaria with refugee status, who can travel freely within the EU for three months but do not receive permanent residence, and migrants with humanitarian status - who have to remain within Bulgarian borders - often try to leave the country to seek greener pastures elsewhere in the EU.

Joint operations by the Interior Ministry of Bulgaria and State Agency for National Security (DANS) in Sofia have resulted in the detention of migrant traffickers and illegal immigrants in recent weeks.

TRTWorld and agencies