« Musharraf Deal In Waziristan Prompting More Attacks | Main | Columbia Dean Abruptly Leaves After Invite Cancellation »
The Greeks have reportedly found a new method to deal with their illegal immigration problem, according to Der Spiegel. When interdicting boats that carry illegal immigrants on the Aegean, the Greek Coast Guard simply returns them to the sea -- but minus their boats. According to Turkish authorities, six people drowned and three remain missing when the Greeks threw 40 illegals into the water:
Greek authorities have denied knowledge of an alleged incident in which Greek officials threw illegal immigrants into the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey. On Tuesday morning, some 31 illegals were plucked out of the sea near the Turkish coastal city of Izmir. They claimed that the Greek Coast Guard had thrown them into the water. They did so, said one survivor, "without even asking if we could swim," according to Turkey's state-owned Anatolia news agency. Six people have reportedly drowned; three are missing.
Greek officials denied the charges in general terms. "We never throw people into the sea," said Haris Bournias, a Greek Coast Guard commander on the island of Chios. Turkey's coastline is a major transit area for illegal immigrants trying to reach Europe, and Bournias said smugglers regularly set immigrants adrift in little boats without lights. "Many people drown that way in the straits," said Bournias, and in fact early reports in the Turkish media claimed the survivors had washed ashore after their boat sank off the Turkish coast. ...
According to reports, the survivors included Palestinians, Lebanese, Tunisians, Iraqis and one Algerian. Residents on the coast of Izmir had called the Turkish Coast Guard on Tuesday morning after being awakened by barking dogs and cries for help. The suvivors claimed that they had set off from Izmir province in a boat and landed on Chios. But they were captured by uniformed Greeks who placed them on a Coast Guard ship that carried them back toward Izmir, where they were tossed into the sea. "Two of our friends drowned in front of our eyes," Muhammedi Alti, a Lebanese national, told the Anatolia news agency. "I still can't believe what we have lived through ... We had thought that human rights would be more valuable in Europe."
It's important to remember that the Greeks have denied this story and no international observers have independently corroborated it. However, the Greeks and Turks have an ongoing diplomatic feud over illegal immigration. The Greek border is the threshold for impoverished immigrants hoping to exploit Western economies for a better life. The Greeks want to keep their nation from being used as a conduit for illegal immigration, especially considering the security risks. They supposedly have a reciprocal agreement to return border crossers, but the Greeks say that the Turks have only agreed on 1400 cases -- out of over 22,000.
Any familiarity between this border and our southern border with Mexico is strictly coincidental, of course.
If the Greek Coast Guard really did what the Turks allege, they have committed a serious crime. Regardless of the security and economic problems that border-runners create, they cannot simply throw people into the sea to drown. If the Turks have lied -- and one hopes that turns out to be the case -- then these accusations will only backfire on them. The world's attention will turn to the Greek-Turk border as a potential gap in European security, and the Turks will come under greater pressure to secure it.
As far as our border is concerned, it looks like the Senate will vote on the border barier today. Bill Frist successfully limited debate on the bill yesterday, The US will get its border barrier, and far from turning America into Berlin, it will stop most of the unimpeded flow over the southern border that leaves us all vulnerable to more than just poor people looking for work.Sphere It View blog reactions
TrackBack URL for this entry is
My Other Blog!
Comment Moderation Policy - Please Read!
Skin The Site
Des Moines Register
International Herald Tribune
The Weekly Standard
The New Republic
AP News (Yahoo! Headlines)
Guardian Unlimited (UK)
New York Times
Los Angeles Times
- dave on Another National Health Care System Horror Story
- brooklyn on Hillary Not Hsu Happy
- rbj on Hillary Not Hsu Happy
- Robin S on Requiem For A Betrayed Hero
- Ken on Hillary Not Hsu Happy
- Robin S. on Requiem For A Betrayed Hero
- RBMN on Hillary Not Hsu Happy
- NoDonkey on Another National Health Care System Horror Story
- Robin Munn on Fred Thompson Interview Transcript
- filistro on When Exactly Did Art Die?
Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!