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The refugees are being made to pay the price for the war in the Middle East. While the governments of Turkey and Greece are trying to benefit from the conflict between the imperialist blocks, they are both doing their best to get rid of the refugees within their borders and to block the entry of people fleeing the horrors of war.

Facing the Russian armed forces and the Assad regime in Idlib, Turkey declared that it would no longer prevent refugees from crossing the border into Europe. Upon hearing this, tens of thousands of refugees, sick and tired of the poverty, exploitation and racism they have been suffering in Turkey, began to make their way to the West in order to cross by sea or by land.

While thousands of refugees remain stuck along the Turkish border, the Greek security forces, in co-operation with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency -FRONTEX, are taking barbarous measures to stop the refugees.

It is clear as day that the AKP government’s decision on border crossings has nothing at all to do with goodwill towards refugees. Rather than explain why it is that the refugees are so keen to get out of Turkey, the Turkish government is bragging about the numbers of refugees who have crossed into Europe. Thousands set out on death trips across the sea in plastic dinghies, and thousands more are waiting at the border in horrible conditions.

The Greek police, for their part, are attacking the refugees with tear gas and even bullets. And racists on the Aegean islands, encouraged openly by the racist policies of the Greek government, are trying to stop the refugees from crossing. We salute the ordinary people on the islands that have chased away the police and refuse to allow the establishment of prisons for refugees on their land. We salute the women in Lesvos who say that refugee women are no different from us.

The interests of Turkish and Greek workers do not lie with US or Russian imperialism, or with the EU, or with Greek and Turkish bosses. They lie with international workers solidarity, with all refugees and especially Syrian workers at this moment.

We call on the governments of Greece and Turkey to stay away from military tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East and to abandon adventures that endanger the lives of ordinary people. We oppose both the bombing of Idlib by the Assad regime and Russia, and Turkey’s military operations in the region.

Policies that drive the refugees to horror and death on land and on the sea must be stopped immediately!

We demand that the Syria-Turkey border is opened to the hundreds of thousands escaping from Idlib and that the EU’s and Greece’s policies designed to stop refugees are abandoned. Refugees escaping from war should be allowed to stay in Turkey or Greece, if they so wish, and they should be allowed to go to any other country, if that is what they prefer. Turkey and Greece, as well as all the other countries of Europe, should take the necessary measures to improve the lives of the refugees within their borders.

We, socialists on both sides of the Aegean, have been fighting for years for the rights and freedoms of refugees, and against the racists. We call on workers of all countries to show solidarity with the refugees and to raise the flag of peace against war, imperialism and racism.

DSİP in Turkey and SEK in Greece will continue to co-operate in our struggles and to organise for anti-racist activity in the week of 15-21 March.

Refugees are welcome here!
No to racism!
Long live the fraternity of peoples!

Revolutionary Socialist Workers Party (DSİP), Turkey
Socialist Workers Party (SEK), Greece