Rejections and Returns: The EU-Turkey Statement and its consequences for refugees in Greece, Turkey and Germany

Event Announcement – Rejections and Returns: The EU-Turkey Statement and its consequences for refugees in Greece, Turkey and Germany

Monday, 20 November, 19:00 – 21:00

ECCHR, Zossener Straße 55-58 (Aufgang D), 10961 Berlin

The EU-Turkey Statement from March 2016 stipulates that “[a]ll new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands as from 20 March 2016 will be returned to Turkey”. Under the adjusted procedures, people who arrive on the Greek islands are subjected to accelerated border procedures and an initial admissibility test on their asylum claim. The European Asylum Support Office (EASO), an EU agency, is in charge of “recommending” a decision to the competent Greek Asylum Service. Based on the dubious assumption that Turkey is a safe third country, many refugees currently face the risk of being deported back there. Cases against this further erosion of the right to asylum are pending at the European Court of Human Rights. At the same time, EASO’s practice is under scrutiny by the European Ombudsman, due to a complaint lodged by ECCHR.

This panel will look into the ongoing abysmal situation in the Greek Hotspots and discuss the post-deportation risks faced by individuals returned to Turkey. Orçun Ulusoy and Jill Alpes will present the results of their research in the framework of the University of Utrecht’s project on “Migration Deals”, which provides a critical assessment of the effects of the EU-Turkey Agreement. Following this analysis Robert Nestler and Berenice Böhlo will join to critique recent legal developments in Greece and the restart of Dublin transfers to Greece.

Orçun Ulusoy is a legal scholar at the Free University Amsterdam. He worked as a lawyer in Izmir and was a founding member of ‘Kayiki’, a network of Turkish and Greek human rights activists, researchers and lawyers working on asylum and migration.

Dr. Jill Alpes is a legal anthropologist and independent consultant. She worked as senior policy officer on human rights and deportations at Amnesty International and is a researcher at the University of Utrecht. She also served as coordinator for the post-deportation monitoring network.

Robert Nestler is a research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and Board Member of Refugee Law Clinics Abroad on Chios/Greece.

Berenice Böhlo is a lawyer in Berlin, with a focus on asylum and migration law.

Moderation: Carsten Gericke (Lawyer, Migration Project at ECCHR).

The event will be held in English. The venue is wheelchair accessible.  

We look forward to welcoming you to this event and kindly ask that you register at until 15 November 2017 (please note that no confirmation will be sent).

Contact: ECCHR, Anabel Bermejo, Tel.: + 49 (0)30 6981 9797, E-Mail:

This event is financially supported by the Foundation Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin.