The Greek authorities accused Turkey on Tuesday of encouraging Somali migration by means of visa affords, urging Ankara to cease “coordinated” unlawful migrant arrivals into Europe.
Greater than half of the 214 migrants who crossed from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos since November 1 had been from Somalia, Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi advised reporters. At the moment, there are between 2,000 and three,000 migrants on the Turkish west coast, he mentioned.
Somalians obtained scholar or healthcare visas for Turkey, the place felony gangs helped them to cross into Greece, Mitarachi claimed. “These persons are primarily arriving legally in Turkey, for the specific function of unlawful trafficking into Europe.”
The difficulty isn’t about geopolitics, however about unlawful trafficking of individuals into the European Union, the minister famous. “We’re merely asking Turkey to uphold its obligation by serving to us to proactively handle, and restrict, unlawful migration.”
After lots of of hundreds of migrants and refugees flowed into Europe in 2015 and 2016, the EU and Ankara clinched a deal to limit the inflow. Nonetheless, they’ve repeatedly accused one another of not assembly their respective commitments beneath the deal.
In February and March this 12 months, Greek police clashed with migrants on the border with Turkey, and Athens accused Ankara of opening its gates to place stress on the EU.
Mitarachi mentioned that his ministry has “confirmed data” that nongovernmental organizations helped Somali asylum seekers journey to Turkey and organize their crossing to Greece through migrant smuggling networks.
The minister additionally claimed that the Turkish coastguard was responsible for the dying of two girls final week, after it allegedly pressured their boat – which was sending misery indicators – into Greek waters.
Turkey, in the meantime, mentioned on Tuesday that it had rescued no less than 69 folks whose boats had been pushed again by the Greek coastguard into Turkish waters within the Aegean Sea.
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