Bulgaria Closes 'Green' Border with Turkey to Stop Refugee Wave

Politics » DEFENSE | November 11, 2013, Monday // 13:12
Bulgaria Closes 'Green' Border with Turkey to Stop Refugee Wave: Bulgaria Closes 'Green' Border with Turkey to Stop Refugee Wave The so-called Bulgarian-Turkish "green border" where there are crossings without checkpoints, file photo

Bulgaria has closed its border with Turkey for illegal immigrants overnight Sunday into Monday by sending an additional 1 166 policemen to guard it.

The move came on the heels of border patrols detaining, from 8 am Saturday to 8 am Sunday, 97 illegal immigrants trying to cross the border from Turkey into Bulgaria, the newspaper Pressa (Press) reported, specifying that the information on the closure has been confirmed by the Interior Ministry.

Police teams have now adopted new tactics – they physically stand on the "green border," stop everyone who is crossing it illegally, and call their Turkish colleagues to come pick the immigrants up and take them back.

Another 300 police officers will be dispatched to the border along with a large amount of ATV equipment. Specially trained dogs are already working alongside people in uniform.

Bulgaria has the capacity to accommodate about 5 000, while close to 10 000 refugees have arrived since the beginning of 2013.

The country is the gateway to the European Union for refugees fleeing Syria via Turkey, many crossing the border illegally to seek asylum. It expects to receive EU aid in order to deal with the ongoing refugee influx.

The fence that Bulgarian authorities are building over a section of the Bulgarian-Turkish border will be ready by February next year.

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Tags: green, police, border, asylum seekers, shelters, refugee, interior ministry, turkey, Syria

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