By Cihan Demirci, Mehmet Kara, and Berk Ozkan
EDIRNE/ISTANBUL, Turkey (AA) – Some irregular migrants arriving in Turkey’s northwestern Edirne province Friday, bordering both Bulgaria and Greece, crossed the Meric River in inflatable boats and set foot in Greece.
Some 500 irregular migrants came to the border villages by commercial taxis, according to village residents.
Meanwhile in Istanbul, irregular migrants arriving in bus stations groups continue to go to Edirne.
Some companies that had difficulties in meeting bus demands of the migrants started additional services to Edirne.
Said Abdullah, a migrant from Comoros Islands, told reporters he came with a 13-person group to the bus station and wants to arrive in France or Switzerland as his mother tongue is French.
“Europe does not want to allow us enter, but they exploited my country many countries in Africa for years. Turkey has opened its door for us. I'm very happy for that, but I believe that we will reach our dreams in Europe,” he said.
A Moroccan migrant, Abdullatif Mina, said he came to the bus station with his cousin.
"Europe represents our dreams. We do not know what we will experience there, but we want to go in this trip again,” Mina said.
Late Thursday, at least 33 Turkish soldiers were martyred and dozens of others injured in an airstrike by Assad regime forces in the Idlib, Syria de-escalation zone, just across Turkey’s southern border.
Turkish officials announced Friday that they would no longer try to stop irregular migrants from reaching Europe.
Turkey already hosts nearly 4 million migrants from Syria alone, more than any other country, and has complained that Europe failed to keep promises to help migrants, as well as Turkey, stem further migrant waves.
* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur