German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) findings indicate that the Turkish government purposely incited riots by planting members of its security services among crowds of migrants.
The BND accuses Turkish forces of intermixing with migrants along the border and posing as migrants themselves, throwing rocks and other missiles at Greek forces in an effort to incite riots and facilitate a breakthrough into Greece and the European Union.
The findings were denied by the Turkish authorities, according to German tabloid Bild, and the BND did not disclose further detail on the allegations to the newspaper when asked to comment.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened the border to Europe in late February, with Greece recording over 50,000 attempts by migrants to illegally cross the border by mid-March.
The Turkish government was forced to close the border again due to fears that the large crowds that had gathered in the area could potentially spread the Wuhan coronavirus which has recently begun to surge in Turkey, with over 3,600 cases recorded as of Friday.
Despite Turkey’s recent move to close their side of the border, however, attacks on the Greek border fence have continued, including one incident last week in which migrants armed with improvised ladders tried to scale the fence.
Greek Minister for Citizens Protection, Michalis Chrisochoidis, stated that most of the small minority of families and elderly had left the border area already, and that only 5,000 or so young men, who he labelled “provocateurs,” remained.
The German intelligence service’s claim that Turkey has co-ordinated the border violence are not the first levelled at the Islamist-led country since it “opened the gates” in late February.
Greek authorities report that the Turks used buses and trains to help ship thousands of migrants to the border area along the Evros river, some direct from prison.
The Greeks also stated that Turkish authorities helped both arm migrants with tear gas and provide them with cover during repeated attempts to break through the Greek border — which is also a common external border for the EU’s frontierless Schengen area.