Category Archives: News

Greece wants send thousands of migrants back to Turkey in coming weeks

Reuters – Greece wants to dramatically escalate returns of migrants to Turkey in the coming weeks under a European Union deal with Ankara, the migration minister said on Friday, amid criticism it has been too slow to process them.

Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas said Greece wanted to send thousands of migrants who arrived by crossing the Aegean Sea back to Turkey within weeks if they did not qualify for asylum in Greece. “It would constitute failure if, within the next month-and-a-half, those who are obliged to leave the islands didn’t do so,” Mouzalas told Greek TV. Asked how many people that amounted to, Mouzalas said “more than half” of the migrants currently there.

WatchTheMed Alarm Phone denounces illegal push-back operation with Frontex present

Watch the Med Alarm Phone – Between Chios/Greece and Cesme/Turkey, a refugee boat with adults and children escaping wars and conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, and elsewhere, were illegally pushed-back to Turkey. Escaping violence to find security in Europe, the refugees were threatened with gun violence when being forced back to Turkey, where they will not find safety. They had already made it into Greek territory but the Greek coast guard, while promising safety and in the presence of two Frontex vessels, returned them to Turkey.

“Refugees are left alone on the streets”

Mediendienst Integration – Dr. Cavidan Soykan, who is part of HarekAct and GAR ‘Migraiton Research Plattform’ did an interview with Mediendienst Integration:  Turkey currently represents the largest refugee-hosting country in the world. However, human rights organizations have raised serious questions on whether its asylum policies abide by international agreements. What does the Turkish asylum system look like? And how are refugees treated?

Greece returns 13 Syrian refugees to Turkey

Greek authorities say they have returned 13 Syrian refugees to Turkey under an agreement between that country and the European Union to stop the flow of migrants and refugees to Europe. Police said the six men, three women and four children were flown Thursday from the island of Chios to Adana in Turkey on a flight chartered by Frontex, the European border patrol agency. It said those returned had not applied for asylum and returned voluntarily.

EU Council urges Greece to consider Turkey safe for Syrian refugees

New Europe – The European Council on Justice and Home Affairs is applying pressure on Greece over a recent statement about the EU-Turkey migration deal. They are urging Athens to recognise Turkey as a safe third-country. “We have to make clear to Greece that the vast majority of member states consider Turkey a safe country for Syrians to be returned to,” stressed one diplomatic source on June 8, prior to the Justice and Home Affairs Council that is slated to be held in Luxembourg on June 9-10.

Rulings back 35 migrants appealing deportation

Ekathimerini – Fears are rising about the possible breakdown of a deal between the European Union and Turkey for the return of migrants after legal committees in Greece upheld dozens of appeals by refugees against their deportation. By late Monday, Greek appeals committees had ruled in favor of 35 refugees, ruling that Turkey is “an unsafe country.” Only two rulings overturned appeals by refugees against their deportation.

Ankara halts Readmission Agreement with EU, disagrees on anti-terrorism laws

Daily Sabah – The agreement between Turkey and the EU that will facilitate visa liberalization for Turkish nationals and allow readmission of Syrian refugees who enter Europe illegally is practically shelved due to ongoing disagreements, according to sources from the Foreign Ministry. The Turkey-EU agreement that will pave the way for visa liberalization was initially signed on Dec. 16, 2013 and was later included in the comprehensive refugee deal by both parties. Although Brussels says the deal will succeed, it also requires Turkey to meet the EU’s 72 benchmarks, which include narrowing its counterterrorism laws.

EU-Turkey Deal: deportation of homosexual Syrian threatened by ISIS looming

ProAsyl – Yesterday evening three lawyers cooperating with PRO ASYL, a local Greek lawyer and the Greek Council for Refugees applied for interim measures at the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg in order to stop the imminent deportation of a Syrian persecuted by ISIS from Greece to Turkey. This is the first case under the EU-Turkey Deal reaching the ECHR.