Greece decreed this Monday (06.07.2021) that Turkey is a safe country for the return of Syrian, Afghan, Somali, Pakistani and Bangladeshi refugees, a fact that was already stipulated in the pact signed between Ankara and the EU in 2016, but that Greece The government decided to confirm with a decree to speed up the return of irregular migrants.
As reported by the Ministry of Migration in a statement, this decision is taken after analyzing that Turkey fulfills the living conditions and human rights so that the citizens of these five countries do not suffer discrimination based on their race, religion, nationality or social class. .
The Minister of Migrations, Notis Mitarakis, assured that this decree, signed jointly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, intends to protect the Greek legal arsenal against asylum requests and added that it is a step more towards the “inviolable” application of the pact between the EU and Turkey.
This joint agreement provides for the return to Turkey of all migrants who arrived irregularly on the Greek islands, but returns have been suspended since the start of the pandemic.
According to official data from the Hellenic Asylum Service, citizens of these five countries (Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia) accounted for almost half (49.5%) of arrivals in Greece in the first quarter of this year and 60% of those of 2020.
With this measure, the government of conservative Kyriakos Mitsotakis hopes to resume returns to Turkey and speed up the asylum application process, as well as combat illegal immigration and the criminal activity of smuggling networks.
The decree, which is based on Article 38 of the 2013 EU Directive on International Protection, allows the Asylum Service not to examine in depth the applications of persons of the aforementioned nationalities who arrive in Greece via the Turkey and their immediate return to that country.
To date, although the agreement signed in 2016 between the EU and Turkey allows it to be considered a safe country for Syrians, many asylum seekers have filed appeals against their expulsion, lawsuits which ended up winning in the second instance.
Although in 2017 the Greek Supreme Court ruled that the lives of Syrians were not in danger in Turkey and that they were not at risk of being subjected to torture or humiliating treatment, so far the Greek legislation had not written it, which now says so. decree. (EFE)