After Macedonian authorities imposed further restrictions on refugees trying to cross the Greek border, at least 18 people drowned off the Turkish coast while trying to reach Greece Sunday
he Turkish coast guard launched a search-and-rescue mission for other migrants believed to be missing from the accident, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. The coast guard rescued 15 other migrants off the Aegean Sea resort of Didim, it added.
The dead included three children, according to private Dogan news agency.
Meanwhile, Greek police officials said Macedonian authorities are only allowing those from cities they consider to be at war to cross the Idomeni border crossing from Greece. That means people from cities such as Aleppo in Syria, for example, can enter, but those from the Syrian capital of Damascus or the Iraqi capital of Baghdad are being stopped.
Thousands arrive daily
While thousands arrive in Greece’s main port of Piraeus from the islands, about 13,000-14,000 people remain stranded in Idomeni, with more arriving each day. The refugee camp has overflowed, with thousands pitching tents among the railway tracks and in adjacent fields.
The rate at which refugees are being allowed to cross had already been reduced to a trickle, with sometimes only a few dozen, or even nobody, being allowed to cross. Greek police said 240 people crossed between 6 a.m. Saturday and the same time Sunday morning.