Greece calls on Turkey to help 40 migrants stranded on border islet

Greece has requested that Turkey help some 40 migrants believed to have been stranded for several days on a river islet inside a restricted military zone adjacent to their common border, the Associated Press reported.

Some of the people urgently require medical aid, the Greek police said on Thursday. Greece made the request to Turkey after it emerged that the migrants’ location in the middle of the Evros river was “outside Greek sovereignty”, AP said.

Turkey has been asked “to urgently take all necessary action” to remove the migrants from the islet and to provide them “all required assistance,” the police said.

The migrants have allegedly been batted from side to side of the border by the Greek and Turkish authorities, the Greek Council for Refugees said. It said the migrants stated that a 5-year-old girl had died on the islet after being stung by a scorpion.

The Greek Council for Refugees first heard about the migrants predicament in mid-July, its chief Vassilis Papadopoulos said. A group of around 50 people had allegedly succeeded in crossing to Greece but were then forced back into Turkey, he said.

Greece denies regular accusations that it commits pushbacks of asylum seekers, illegal under international law.

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