GREECE FENCING ITS BORDERS WITH TURKEY, CHANCES OF SMALL CONFLICT IN MEDITERRANEAN ESCALATED

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The world is witnessing a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, a harsh standoff between China and India, the Indo Pacific region is on a continuous high alert due to China’s strains with the US and Taiwan. In the midst of all these tensions, the new entry to rake the temperature is of Turkey and Greece who can soon get indulge in a maritime standoff.

What happened recently?

The European countries traditionally remain in an open Border system but tensing events happening from a past few times has compelled Greece to pack its borders with Turkey. Greece has begun extending a border wall along its frontier with Turkey to deter migrants from trying to enter the European Union. A total of 26 km of the wall will be added to the existing 10 km fence along the Evros River which parts the boundaries of both the states. The €63 million extensions will add 5 metre-high fencing and upgrade the existing sections of the wall by using galvanized square steel tubes and concrete foundations.

Why is this happening?

To know the actual reason we have to peep out through those plaguing events which are raking the strains between both the states. So following are those main reasons which are tarnishing ties between both the countries-

  1. Cyprus conflict.
  2. Hagia Sophia conversion into a Mosque.
  3. Oil and gas exploration in Eastern Mediterranean Andrew the Aegean Sea.
  4. Refugee issue.

Amongst all these reasons with the refugee and oil and gas exploration are the burning issues. Let’s have a brief insight-
Due to wars in Syria, Turkey hosts around 4 million refugees, mostly from Syria. It often threatens to reopen the migrant route from the Middle East, which at its peak in 2015 resulted in thousands of people drowning in the Mediterranean Sea.

In 2015 – About 1 million people reached Greece and Italy via this route where many still live in crowded displacement camps.
In 2016 – Turkey agreed to prevent migrants from crossing into the EU In return, the EU promised funds to help Turkey manage the refugees on its soil.
In 2019 – Turkey attacked northern Syria and sought Support from the EU but this altered its intentions after the EU pulled its hands.
In 2020 – A border standoff earlier this year has helped drive Greek Turkish relations to dangerously low atrophy. In February this year, Turkey said it would no longer stop migrants from trying to cross into Europe. Consequently, Thousands of refugees tried to cross the border illegally encouraged by Turkish forces, pushed back by Greek forces.

Most of the European countries have undertaken procedures of fencing borders to check the inflow of refugees in their states, thus Greece is trying to do the same thing with Turkey. Prior pandemic too the situation were boiling between both the states after Turkey started oil and natural gas exploration in the waters of Greece as per the EU norms, to which Turkey didn’t follow.

Since it is clear that Turkey’s one-sided stand is racking all the tensions thus, the EU should now come collectively to talk to Turkey and resolve the matter peacefully via talks otherwise it will take no longer time to catch fire and witness another war in 2020.

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