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Greece: Turkish warships escort illegal immigrants, not refugees


According to Greece, migrants who are accompanied by Turkish warships when they are transferred to the EU are not refugees. “The Geneva Refugee Convention affects people fleeing danger. Not people who are supported by a neighboring country during the crossing,” said Greek migration minister Notis Mitarakis today.

Greece versus Turkish coast guard
In the eastern Aegean, according to Greek information, Turkish patrol boats tried yesterday to guide rubber dinghies with around 300 migrants into Greek waters. According to Athens, the company coordinated a ship of the Turkish Navy. Drones were also used.

According to their own statements, the Greek water police prevented the boats from entering Greek waters, whereupon the Turkish coast guard finally picked up the people and brought them back to the Turkish coast.

In Athens, it is suspected that the action was linked to a trip planned for Tuesday by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel to Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to demonstrate what could happen if the EU does not comply with Turkish demands, said political commentators in Athens. In 2015, hundreds of thousands of migrants came to Greece from Turkey. The vast majority of them moved on to Central Europe.

In the 2016 refugee pact with the EU, Ankara committed itself, among other things, to taking action against illegal migration from Turkey to the EU. The EU is supporting the Turkish government financially for this.

Source: ORF
Photo: Hellenic Coast Guard via AP

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