Turkish officials Sunday shot back at Greek allegations that Turkey forced 92 naked migrants into Greece, calling it “fake news” and accusing Greece of the mistreatment.
Greek migration minister Notis Mitarachi was “sharing false information” after the official tweeted a photo of the naked migrants Saturday and blamed Turkey, said Fahrettin Altun, the communications director of Turkey’s president.
Altun tweeted in Turkish, Greek and English that this was to “cast suspicion on our country,” while calling on Athens to abandon its “harsh treatment of refugees.”
“Greece has shown once again to the entire world that it does not respect the dignity of refugees by posting these oppressed people’s pictures it has deported after extorting their personal possessions,” he said.
Deputy Interior Minister Ismail Catakli tweeted that the photo showed Greece’s cruelty. “Spend your time to obey human rights, not for manipulations & dishonesty!”
Greek police said Saturday that police officers found the migrants stark naked Friday, “some with bodily injuries” who had entered the country using plastic boats to cross the Evros River, which forms a border between the two countries.
Relations between the two neighboring countries have been tense over a variety of issues, including migration.
Turkey regularly accuses Greece of violently pushing back migrants entering the country by land and sea. Turkey’s coast guard frequently shares videos of such pushbacks.
Greece accuses Turkey, which hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, of “pushing forward” migrants to put pressure on the EU.
The U.N. refugee agency said it was “deeply distressed by the shocking reports,” condemning the “degrading treatment” and calling for an investigation.