Greece pushes to send 1,450 migrants back to Turkey

·

Greece is pushing to return 1,450 people currently in migrant reception centres on Lesbos and other Aegean islands to Turkey, Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said on Thursday, calling on Ankara to respect asylum agreements with the European Union.

Mitarachi said Greece had submitted a request to the European Commission and EU border agency Frontex for the immediate return of the migrants, who he said had arrived from Turkey and whose asylum applications had been rejected.

The move comes ahead of a planned resumption of talks to resolve longstanding territorial disputes between Greece and Turkey following months of tensions between the two NATO allies in the Aegean.

Migrant returns to Turkey, under a 2016 EU-Turkey agreement, largely dried up last year due to the coronavirus crisis. But Mitarachi said conditions were now in place for them to resume thanks to new technology and COVID-19 testing procedures.

Children stand next to the sea in the Kara Tepe camp for refugees and migrants on the island of Lesbos, Greece, October 14, 2020. REUTERS/Elias Marcou

“We expect Turkey to step up its efforts … First, to prevent the passage of boats departing from its shores bound for our country and European Union. And second to accept the return of migrants,” Mitarachi said.

He said most of the 1,450 individuals slated for return were on the island of Lesbos, where a fire last year destroyed the main camp housing irregular migrants, while others were on the islands of Kos, Samos and Chios.

Hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees used Greece as their entry point to Europe through Turkey in 2015 and 2016, until the deal between Ankara and the EU reduced the flow across the Greek and Turkish land and sea borders.

Turkey hosts more than three million refugees and migrants, many from neighbouring Syria, while tens of thousands are waiting in Greece for asylum applications to be processed, mostly in camps where conditions have been described as dire.

Sourced By: Reuters

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest News

Archbishop Makarios inaugurates independent living facility for seniors in Cairns

Archbishop Makarios of Australia inaugurated a new independent living facility for seniors in Cairns, North Queensland on Saturday, June 15.

ABC series ‘Stuff the British Stole’ to spotlight Parthenon Marbles debate

ABC series 'Stuff the British Stole' airs tonight at 8pm and will spotlight the Parthenon Marbles debate. Read more here.

South Melbourne falls short against Heidelberg United in close contest

Heidelberg United displayed resilience as they overcame South Melbourne 1-0 on Sunday, June 16 at Olympic Park.

Cyprus Community of NSW and Inner West Hawks FC partner with Brydens Lawyers

The Cyprus Community of NSW in Stanmore and the Inner West Hawks FC have announced the roll out of new member services.

SA man speaks out after bonfire proposal to Elizabeth Parsalidis ends in disaster

South Australian man Adam Boots has spoken out after his romantic bonfire proposal to Elizabeth Parsalidis turned into a fiery tragedy.

You May Also Like

Greek tennis players arrive in Western Australia ahead of United Cup

Greek tennis players have arrived in Western Australia ahead of inaugural United Cup to be held in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney from Thursday.

Applications open for the Victorian Premier’s Spirit of Democracy study tour

Applications for the 2022-2023 Victorian Premier's Spirit of Democracy study tour are now open to secondary school students in Years 9 to 11.

‘A book about belonging’: Adelaide author Sophia Nicolis Tsouvalas releases debut memoir

Sophia Nicolis Tsouvalas, chronicles her family’s life story and embarks on a quest to find her own identity through her memoir ‘A Divided Heart’.