Turkiye on Friday lambasted Greece over its “inhumane” treatment of migrants after 19 migrants reportedly froze to death at the Greek-Turkish border.

In statement, Turkiye’s National Defense Ministry said the migrants, whose clothes, shoes, and other belongings were allegedly confiscated by Greek border forces before being pushed back into Turkiye, froze to death in the cold weather “as a result of Greece’s inhumane treatment.”

“Greece must immediately end its inhumane treatment both on its land borders and at sea,” stressed the ministry, accusing Athens of disregarding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The statement further added that Turkiye believes the Greek people “followed these images with shame and heartache and met this treatment of migrants with hatred. These actions should now draw the EU’s attention.”

Turkiye’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had also severely criticized Greece and the EU over the incident on Wednesday, sharing several photos of the site where the irregular migrants were found with the victims blurred.

At least 19 irregular migrants were found frozen to death, the Turkish authorities said on Thursday, raising the death toll from 12 a day earlier.

Meanwhile, Greek Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi issued a statement on Twitter saying that the incident was a “tragedy.”

However, he denied that Greek forces had pushed them back into Turkiye, saying any suggestion otherwise “is patently false.”

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.