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Migrants, police in fresh clashes at Turkey-Greece border

first_imgTopics :  ‘Coordinated attacks’Earlier Friday, Greek officials accused Turkey of providing cutters to migrants to break through fencing. “There are coordinated attacks this morning,” a Greek official told AFP. “Apart from intimidation, these attacks are taking place from the Turkish police to help migrants cross the fence border line.”Meanwhile, two Greek men were convicted of threatening aid workers on the island of Lesbos, where there has been a violent backlash against those helping the swelling number of arrivals.”I will continue to defend my country. Most of the (aid groups) operate like spies. These gangsters should leave the island,” said 73-year-old Konstantinos Alvanopoulos after being given a three-month suspended sentence.Erdogan’s office said the Syrian ceasefire would not alter its policy on refugees leaving for Europe. “The Russia-Turkey agreement does not… change the fact of the European Union’s non-compliance with its promises as part of the 2016 refugee deal,” presidential sources told state news agency Anadolu. Russia, which backs Syrian government forces with air power, agreed to impose a ceasefire in Idlib from midnight and the skies were free of warplanes for the first day in months on Friday, although previous peace agreements have proved temporary. The EU welcomed the ceasefire. “For sure I am pleased for the ceasefire, the ceasefire is good news. At least it’s goodwill — let’s see how it works,” Borrell said in Zagreb.”But there’s still an extraordinary humanitarian challenge that I think we all face in terms of the sheer numbers of refugees,” added Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney. “Right now, let’s be honest, the agreement is dead,” Mitsotakis told CNN, referring to the EU-Turkey accord.”And it’s dead because Turkey has decided to completely violate the agreement, because of what happened in Syria,” he added.Turkey agreed in 2016 to stop letting migrants leave in exchange for six billion euros — but Ankara says other parts of the EU deal including improved visa and trade rules were never fulfilled. Mitsotakis said Turkey was doing “the exact opposite” of its obligation to hold back asylum-seekers. Greek police fired tear gas in clashes with migrants at the Turkish border on Friday, as Athens said a 2016 EU-Ankara deal limiting migration to Europe was “dead”.Thousands of people have gathered at the border since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that his country would no longer stop refugees from trying to leave.Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused Ankara of “assisting” an ongoing surge of desperate people gathering at the border. ‘Open the gates’ Friday’s brief clashes occurred as migrants tried to break through the fence, according to AFP journalists at the scene, but they quickly ended the volley of rocks and instead sat peacefully chanting “freedom” and “open the gates”.Greek forces say they have prevented nearly 39,000 people from crossing the border. Turkey claims the real number is more than three times higher.Many migrants say they are being pushed to attempt illegal entry to Greece. “They [the Turkish military] told us that if you don’t go to the border… you will be forced to come back to Turkey and people don’t want to come back because they don’t have any good opportunities, there isn’t anything,” Ali, an Iranian, told AFP.The EU’s diplomatic chief made a direct appeal to the migrants not to go to the Greek border.”The border is not open,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Zagreb. Turkey and Russia agreed a ceasefire in Syria on Thursday, but Ankara is still threatened by a potential new influx of refugees from the last rebel stronghold of Idlib and has sought to pressure Europe into providing greater assistance.  Turkey already hosts some four million refugees, and recent advances by the Syrian army, backed by Russian army, have pushed close to a million more towards its border. Later Friday, the Greek government released footage which it said showed Turkish riot police firing a tear gas barrage at Greek border guards.It came after the release of separate footage from Turkish state TV TRT which it said showed asylum-seekers stripped and beaten by Greek forces.A Greek police source disputed the claim, telling AFP: “We are not letting them through the border, so how can we be doing that to them?”Ankara has officially accused Athens of using undue violence against asylum-seekers, killing several and injuring many. Greek officials have repeatedly dismissed this as untrue.last_img read more

We’re getting right balance – Dyche

first_img “We take that side of things seriously, the development of players no matter what their age is, and if they choose to run with our ideas and our thinking, it’s been pretty positive so far the outcome that they’ve got, which of course affects the team in a positive manner. “We’re looking to work with all the players, no matter what age. We want them to improve, we want them to engage and be aligned with what we do. “It’s important as a team we are totally aligned on the outcome, and that is delivering good performances in order to get wins.” The partnership between strikers Vokes and Ings was key to Burnley’s promotion last season, the pair netting 41 league goals between them. Ings will be looking to pick up where he left off on Monday but Vokes must wait until later in the season for his chance after rupturing a cruciate ligament in March. “He’s still a while away yet but he’s doing really, really well,” Dyche said. “There’s no timescale – we wouldn’t do that to a player with that type of injury. He’s been out on the grass, very light training. Not with us, with the physios, but he’s going well and he’s in good spirits. “He’s a great character. He’s someone who’s done fantastically well and will do again.” Burnley boss Sean Dyche hopes he has the right balance in his squad to succeed in the Barclays Premier League. With a small budget, Dyche’s options are limited anyway, but the former Watford boss is also determined to keep the squad dynamic that proved so important last season. Midfielders Matt Taylor and Steven Reid have added a lot of top-flight experience, while strikers Lukas Jutkiewicz and Marvin Sordell, winger Michael Kightly and goalkeeper Matt Gilks have also come in. Dyche said: “We want to find a balanced group in Burnley’s world, both financially and what we think is right for the group and how we operate. I think we’ve done that so far and we are looking to add further. “Obviously the two main lads with experience we’ve brought in are Steven Reid and Matty Taylor. “They’re still active, they’ve made it clear they are by getting games under their belt in recent seasons, but they also have that real depth of Premier League knowledge about going around the country and playing at all the Premier League stadiums and I think that’s important because it gives that balance to the group.” Jutkiewicz, 25, is already on his ninth professional club having joined the Clarets from Middlesbrough last month. He impressed on loan at Bolton last term and was Burnley’s star turn in pre-season, scoring six goals in as many games. “He’s open-minded, big Juke, and we like that,” Dyche said. “(Sam) Vokes proved last year how open-minded he was and (Danny) Ings, the way we work and the way we operate. The Clarets play their first match back in the top flight on Monday when Chelsea visit Turf Moor. Dyche has so far resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes to the squad that finished second in the Championship, adding only six players to what was already a small group. Press Associationlast_img read more