The Telegraph – European leaders will demand that Greece does more to speed up the deportation of illegal migrants back to Turkey amid reports of foot-dragging by Greek authorities in implementing the EU-Turkey deal on migration.
Hurriyet Daily News – The European Union announced on Oct. 17 the dispersal of 467 million of 3 billion euros in aid that has been pledged for over 3 million refugees living in Turkey. “The total amount of funding allocated under the Facility [for Refugees in Turkey] now stands at over 2.2 billion euros, with over 1.2 billion euros already awarded via concrete contracts,” said Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, in a letter on the progress of the implementation of the funding. “Of this, 467 million euros has been disbursed to the implementing partners,” he said.
novinite.com – As of Thursday Bulgaria starts to play an increasingly important role in protecting its own borders and thouse of Europe, EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos has said.
MB – As many as one million refugees, or one third of those being sheltered across Turkey, will have pre-paid debit cards as part of the European Union’s multi-million-euro aid package. NGOs in Turkey welcomed this project with cautious optimism, arguing it is “insufficient” to cope with the refugees’ social and economic integration into local communities.
Daily Sabah – During a renewed rise in the crossings of illegal immigrants to Greece from Turkey, a migrant boat disaster on Thursday fueled fears of a return to the period before a EU-Turkey deal to curb the migrant flow when migrant deaths were almost a daily occasion.
The Coast Guard and volunteers are scanning the Aegean Sea for 21 migrants who went missing after their boat traveling to Greece from Turkey’s Bodrum sank on Thursday. Six bodies were recovered from sea in two days of efforts while four others were rescued alive.
ORF.at (link in German) – A vessel from the European border agency Frontex brought 70 refugees from the Greek island Lesvos to the turkish town Dikili. It’s the first big repatriation since the EU deal with Turkey from April.
According to the Greek ministry for citizens protection the refugees were all men, 50 of them from Pakistan and other from Sri Lanka, Algeria and Morocco. They either didn’t apply for Asylum or they Asylum application had been rejected.
The Guardian – Turkish officials argue the most vulnerable deserve priority resettlement. Some question whether a degree makes refugees less vulnerable.
More than 1,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey have been blocked from resettlement in the US and other countries because they have university qualifications. The refugees were approved for resettlement by American officials, before being blocked – sometimes just days before their departure date – by the Turkish authorities.
NewsDeeply – Thousands of Syrian refugees are now employed as migrant farm workers across Turkey, and they are particularly vulnerable to exploitation – especially as the government has effectively sanctioned using them as cheap labor.
The Guardian – UNHCR director says aspects of deal are de facto suspended as there are no officers to oversee deportations.
The Intercept – Formerly censored but now fully published documents of Frontex, the European Border Agency, show how Greek Coast Guards shot at migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Turkey to Greece.