Immigrants entering Greece from these 5 countries will be immediately returned to Turkey, based on new Law

8 June 2021
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Greece has designated Turkey as a safe third country for asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Somalia, a decision that drastically changes the migration flows entering Greece and the EU.

According to the publication of the JMC of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and, Immigration and Asylum, taking into account the recent report of the Asylum Service and all the updated information on the current situation in Turkey regarding the living conditions and human rights of certain categories of applicants for international protection, Turkey meets all the conditions to be considered a safe country.

Turkey is designated a safe country for asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia, according to the Joint Ministerial Decision by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Migration and Asylum. Taking into account the recent recommendation of the Asylum Service and all the up-to-date information on the current situation in Turkey, regarding the living conditions and human rights of certain categories of applicants for international protection, the Joint Ministerial Decision acknowledges that Turkey meets all those conditions for examining applications for international protection of applicants whose origin is from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia, as they are not considered to be in any danger in the neighboring country due to their race, religion, citizenship, political beliefs.

This practically means that migrants entering Turkey from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Somalia are eligible for international protection and asylum application if it has been proven they are in physical danger of being persecuted in their countries of origin due to race, religion, citizenship, political beliefs or their participation in a particular social group.

The designation of Turkey as a safe third country is an important step in tackling illegal immigration flows and the criminal activity of smuggling networks.

This also aids in the full and unwavering implementation of the EU-Turkey Joint Declaration, which obliges the neighboring country not to allow the operation of smuggling circuits and the passage to Greece “.

The development also minimises the waiting period for the examination and approval of the issuance of asylum decisions, which during the previous government reached up to a year, while until recently they were issued in a period of about three months.

Thus, those who arrive in Greece and apply for asylum will see their application rejected in a short time, even in one to two days, since the country in which they should have sought asylum was Turkey. The decision will greatly affect the flow of immigrants given that these five countries make up 90% of asylum applications in Greece at the moment.

Based on the new decision, immigrants from these countries will be re-processed back to Turkey upon arriving in Greece.

According to sources in the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum, this development not only legally shields our country in dealing with migration flows but also compels Turkey to take its responsibilities in so far as it refuses to cooperate on the issue of deportations and returns.

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