Media outlets in Greece failed to retract fabricated reports on the supposed 'Turkish push-forward of irregular migrants,' said the Turkish Embassy in Athens.

Coast Guard units in Türkiye’s western province of Izmir rescue 143 irregular migrants after Greek authorities pushed them into Turkish territorial waters in Izmir, Türkiye on October 3, 2022.
Coast Guard units in Türkiye’s western province of Izmir rescue 143 irregular migrants after Greek authorities pushed them into Turkish territorial waters in Izmir, Türkiye on October 3, 2022. (Handout via Turkish Coast Guard Command / AA)

The Turkish Embassy in Athens has issued a scathing rebuke over Greek media outlets’ false reporting against Türkiye.

The embassy on Saturday called out Greek news organisations for failing to retract fabricated reports based on a video that they claimed showed Turkish authorities pushing irregular migrants towards Greece.

The video in question was from 2019 and actually showed Turkish teams trying to stop migrants from heading to Greece, the embassy clarified in a series of tweets.

“Several Greek news outlets were quick to disseminate a purported ‘visual proof of Turkish push-forward of irregular migrants’ this past week,” the embassy said.

“We would have expected similarly swift and honest retractions when it turned out that the video (which was itself from 2019) actually shows strenuous efforts by the Turkish Coast Guard doing just the opposite - i.e. trying to intercept a migrant boat from making the crossing to the Greek side.”

Illegal pushback policy 

The embassy also attached a Turkish Coast Guard statement on the incident released on September 9, 2019.

“We hope to thus fill the information gap,” the embassy added.

Greece has long pursued an illegal policy of pushing back asylum seekers trying to reach its shores as an entry point to Europe.

Human rights groups and leading media outlets have frequently reported illegal pushbacks and other human rights breaches of Greek authorities that violate EU and international law.

Türkiye and rights groups have repeatedly condemned the practice, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.

READ MORE: Türkiye saves over 100 refugees after Greece pushback

Source: TRTWorld and agencies