Athens urges EU help in relocating migrants to Turkey


Athens, Jan. 14, 2021 Athens on Thursday called on the European Union to help with the relocation of migrants who did not succeed in claiming asylum in Greece to Turkey.

Turkey still refuses to take back the 1,450 concerned migrants due to the Coronavirus pandemic in spite of possibilities to test them for an infection, the Greek Migration Ministry said.

“We expect Turkey to accept the relocation of migrants on the basis of the joint EU-Turkey declaration,’’ Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said.

In March 2016, the EU and Turkey agreed that all migrants who arrived on the Greek islands in the east of the Aegean would be relocated to Turkey if their asylum application was rejected.

Currently, there are about 17,000 migrants on those islands, according to the coordination authority for asylum.

In early 2020, some 42,000 migrants were living on the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos in completely overcrowded camps.

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