Global Independent Analytics

Migrant Crisis: Deportations resume from Greece to Turkey

The second group of deported migrants has arrived by ferry in Turkey from Greece as part of an EU deal to reduce the numbers reaching Europe

BBC reports: The boat carrying 45 Pakistanis left Mytilene on Lesbos for the short journey to the Turkish port of Dikili. Three demonstrators who dived into the harbour were fished out by coastguards. Some 200 mainly Pakistanis were deported on Monday under an EU deal with Turkey, the main transit route for undocumented migrants. However, the returns process was interrupted as asylum applications surged in Greece.

Under the recent agreement, those immigrants who have arrived in Greece illegally should be deported back to Turkey in case they do not apply for asylum. For each Syrian migrant returned to Turkey, the European Union pledged to take in another Syrian via a legitimate application.

The deportation procedure commands to accompany each deportee with an EU border agency guard, and a doctor and interpreters are to meet a deportee onboard. "Nobody indicated to our escorts last-minute that they would like to apply for international protection," Frontex spokesperson Ewa Moncure told reporters in Greece.

The second group of 95 expellees, from the Greek islands of Samos and Kos, is expected to arrive at Turkish Dikili on Friday. The non-Syrians of the group will be directed to deportation centers while any Syrians will be relocated to refugee camps.

The author of the article provides a list of what awaits the deportees after they arrive:

  • Upon disembarkation in Turkey, they are given medical checks, and are registered and fingerprinted
  • They are then bussed to "reception and removal" centres, possibly in the north-western town of Kirklareli, near the Bulgarian border
  • The Turkish authorities apply to their home countries and they are deported.

 

 

It was reported that some migrants arranged in groups chanting “EU – shame on you” and started a hunger strike against deportations while almost 11.000 remain stranded at Greece’s border with Macedonia. Moreover, the human rights groups continue claiming that Turkey is not a safe country for refugees. Pakistanis, who make up the fourth-biggest group of illegal immigrants, say that Turkey is as dangerous for them as their home country. "We risked our lives to come here, we don't want to go back to Turkey because they are going to send us back to Pakistan," one man, who called himself Ali, told AFP news agency. "We don't want to apply for asylum in Greece, we want to go to Germany."

“Migrant arrivals in Greece by sea from Turkey have dropped sharply, from a couple of thousand per day early last month to the hundreds this month, data from the International Organization for Migration show.

There is concern in Italy that migrants deterred from trying to reach Greece might try to enter the EU from North Africa instead, using the sea route from Libya to Italy.Of migrant arrivals by sea recorded this year to 4 April, 19,287 came to Italy, compared with 152,137 entering Greece,” concludes the author of the article.

"We are concerned because it's predictable that this summer, maybe hundreds of thousands of people maybe will arrive from Syria and African countries through Italy going to Europe," Giorgia De Acutis of the Italian Red Cross told Reuters news agency.

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

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