Turkey has signaled that it is winding down its two-week operation to aid the movement of tens of thousands of people toward Europe, following a tough on-the-ground response from Greek border guards and a tepid diplomatic reaction from European politicians, according to The New York Times.
Migrants at the Greek-Turkish land border began to be transported back to İstanbul by bus this week, witnesses at the border said, de-escalating a standoff that initially set off fears of another European migration crisis.
Greek officials said the number of attempted border crossings had dwindled from thousands a day to a few hundred, and none were successful on Friday, even as sporadic exchanges of tear gas with Turkish security forces continued.
On Feb. 28 the Turkish government announced it would no longer stop migrants trying to reach Europe, and it then drove hundreds to the threshold of Greece, live-streaming the process to encourage more to follow.
The move was perceived as an attempt to rally European support for Turkey’s military campaign in northern Syria, and more European aid for the 4 million refugees inside Turkey.