Turkey accepts 90 refugees returned by Greece

Turkey accepts at least 90 refugees who had crossed into Greece from Turkey

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Refugees wait at a makeshift camp along the Greece-Macedonia border in Idomeni village, Greece, on March 10, 2016 to cross Macedonia.

Turkey accepted at least 90 refugees who had crossed into Greece from Turkey under a recent agreement between the two countries on the readmission to Turkey of refugees who do not qualify for international protection.

Turkish migration agency in northwestern province of Edirne said that refugees from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Pakistan were taken back into Turkey on Friday through the Ipsala border gate.

The migration agency said eight Algerian refugees were placed in a deportation centre in Edirne, while 71 Pakistanis and Moroccans were sent to a detention centre in Erzurum, in eastern Turkey.

With today's readmission, Turkey this year has accepted the return of at least 447 refugees from Greece, officials said.

Greece has been the target for most refugees heading to Europe through Turkey.

More than 440 people have lost their lives in the Aegean Sea since the start of the year, according to the International Organization for Migration.

However, with a new readmission agreement between Greece and Turkey, refugees who cross the Aegean will be returned to Turkey.

The agreement came in a week where European Union leaders agreed on a wide range of proposals with Turkey to solve the refugee crisis, including the return of all irregular refugees, accelerating the visa-liberalisation process for Turkish citizens and sharing the work of hosting Syrian refugees.

Ankara has requested visa-free travel for its citizens by the end of June and an additional 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) to meet the needs of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

EU leaders are due to meet again next week to finalise the refugee plan.

TRTWorld and agencies