A video appearing to show Greek coastguard officers attempting to capsize a boat full of migrants at sea by firing rounds has today been released by the Turkish authorities.
The footage was shared alongside claims by Turkish authorities that the Greek coast guard is harassing refugee boats by firing warning shots and pestering them with boat hooks.
Today Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Europe it will have to accept the ‘burden’ of ‘millions’ of incoming migrants after it opened its boarders to allow them passage to Europe.
In the video a coastguard officer aboard a large dingy is seen waving his arms at the boat full of migrants before prodding them repeatedly with a large stick – shots are later seen hitting the water around the boat.
Occupants of the boat can be heard screaming as their rubber dingy endures rough waves and is sandwiched between Greek coastguard’s larger dingy and a 50ft coastguard vessel.
With an armed officer standing upon the coastguard’s boat above them and pointing a gun towards them the migrants manoeuvre their dingy away from the authority and towards the open sea.
A video appearing to show Greek coastguard officers attempting to capsize a boat full of migrants at sea by firing shots has today come to light
The coastguard then appears to shoot at the migrant’s vessel, with bullets splashing as they hit the water next to it.
Another clip shows migrants trying to reach for help at the side of the large vessel while a coast guard uses a stick to push them and their boat away.
On Monday a four-year-old Syrian boy drowned off the Greek coast when a migrant boat capsized near Lesbos, reported authorities – it is not known if the video relates to the same incident.
Occupants of the boat can be heard screaming as their rubber dingy endures rough waves and is sandwiched between Greek coastguard’s larger dingy and a 50ft coastguard vessel
Another clip shows migrants trying to reach for help at the side of the large vessel while a coast guard uses a stick to push them and their boat away
A Turkish official claimed that Turkey’s own coast guard had saved people in a dinghy after they were targeted by Greek guards.
The official claimed that the Greek coast guard ‘performed manoeuvres aimed at sinking’ the inflatable boat, which had set off from near Bodrum, as well as firing warning shots and hitting those on board with boat hooks.
There was no immediate reaction from the Greek side.
The coastguard then appears to shoot at the migrant’s vessel, with bullets splashing as they hit the water next to it
A Turkish official claimed that the Greek coast guard ‘performed manoeuvres aimed at sinking’ the inflatable boat
Last week, hundreds of local people on the Greek island of Lesbos protested against government plans to build a new migrant camp, clashing with riot police sent to the island to protect construction workers.
Erdogan vowed today to keep the doors open for migrants heading for Europe, saying the European Union had not delivered the promised aid.
Migrants trying to get into Greece have told reporters that border guards are firing tear gas and warning shots to stop them crossing the border into the EU.
Migrants lift their inflatable boat onto the shore at the village of Skala Sikaminias, on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing on a dinghy from Turkey today
Stranded migrants on a boat, including a young child, are rescued by a disaster and emergency management team from an islet in the Evros River in Turkey today
Meanwhile more than 13,000 migrants have gathered on the Turkish side of the river which runs 125 miles along the frontier and separates them from Greece, and therefore the EU.
Greek police were today firing tear gas at the crowds, as migrants tried to swim across the river or squeeze through fences at one of the few land crossings, although only dozens have succeeded so far.
The UN refugee agency says around 1,200 people have arrived on Greek islands in the last two days.
A tear gas canister spirals through the air near a border crossing today as migrants try to reach Greece and enter the EU
Turkish security forces also claimed that a Syrian migrant had died from injuries after a clash with Greek security forces, but Athens has today branded the claim and an associated video ‘fake news’.
The flow of migrants has triggered fears of a re-run of the 2015 refugee crisis when a million people crossed into Europe, most of them fleeing the Syrian civil war.
‘This is what happened in 2015, it’s repeating itself. Thousands at our borders, God help us,’ said a 63-year-old resident of the border village of Kastanies.
Erdogan has been guarding Europe’s border since then but opened the doors to his country’s 3.6million refugees on Friday, in a move he has long threatened, hoping to pressure Western leaders over the conflict in Syria.
He is already facing a backlash in Europe today where German chancellor Angela Merkel said it was ‘unacceptable’ to pressure the EU ‘on the back of refugees’.