A group of 38 migrants that included a heavily pregnant woman were found stranded on a tiny, unnamed island along the Turkish-Greek border on Monday.
Where did they migrate from?
According to authorities in Greece, where they’ve been moved to, the migrants said they’re from Syria. The group, which includes 22 men, 9 women, and 7 children, is reported to have been on the Evros river islet since about a month ago. Greek migration minister, Notis Mitarachi, who visited the Evros region on Tuesday, said the migrants were all in “very good condition”, including the pregnant woman, who has been taken to the hospital for checks.
Unwanted on both sides
Though the migrants have been moved to Greece, there’s been some uncertainty over whether Turkey or Greece should have come to their aid earlier. Before being found about 4km south of the areas outside the Greek territory, authorities in Greece had initially said the migrants were on Turkish territory. Lamenting how they were treated like “a football game between the two sides” (Turkey and Greece), one of the women in the group said, “No one wants us. No one hears us. No one wants to help”.
Lately, relations between Greece and Turkey have been tense due to allegations of ill-treatment of minorities in Greek-controlled territories, among whom are people of Turkish descent. While the Greek government reiterates its compliance with European and international law, Human rights groups have accused the country of turning back thousands of asylum seekers.