Migrants Return to Turkey Amidst Forced Expulsions

Boats from Greece began shipping migrants into Turkey this week, as the EU plan to slow the flow of migration starts to take effect. The implementation of the EU-Turkey deal created anger and discord not only from migrant communities, but from numerous human rights organizations.

The controversial plan was hammered out last year between Turkey and the EU. In exchange for millions in aid and visa-free travel, Turkey has promised not only to step up patrols of commonly used migration corridors, but accept boatloads of migrants being deported from Europe. In exchange, the EU has set up a one-for-one deal: For every Syrian deported to Turkey, one asylum-seeker will be resettled in the EU – with a cap at 72,000 refugees.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), announced last month that they were pulling out of the camps where these expulsions are taking place, calling the system both unfair and inhumane.

“We will not allow our assistance to be instrumentalized for a mass expulsion operation, and we refuse to be part of a system that has no regard for the humanitarian or protection needs of asylum seekers and migrants,” the head mission in Greece announced in a statement.

MSF’s decision to end operations in these camps carries considerable weight. As writer Amanda Taub pointed out, “An organization that continues to work in war zones in South Sudan, Yemen, and Syria has concluded that its position in a European refugee camp is morally untenable. And that speaks to just how desperate and reactive the European Union has become in dealing with — but not solving — the growing refugee crisis.”

The idea that Europe is essentially outsourcing their refugee issues to a poorer country with fewer resources and accountability has not escaped the notice of most human rights organizations. Amnesty International has also criticized the move, saying that Turkey was not a safe place for most of these refugees, who are sometimes illegally returned to Syria.

And to add to this mess it turns out that even with the influx of money, Turkey can’t necessarily handle boatloads full of migrants. According to one report from this year, Turkey was letting refugees bottleneck along border areas, refusing them entry on the basis of simply not having room.

Giorgos Kosmopoulos, with Amnesty International’s Greek chapter told reporters that,Despite the serious legal gaps and lack of adequate protection in Turkey, the EU is forging ahead with a dangerous deal. Turkey is not a safe third country for refugees. The EU and Greek authorities know this and have no excuse.”

Meanwhile in Greece protests from migrants are continuing to take place, with some threatening suicide and others chanting for their freedom.

What is lost in such political wrangling is the human cost of these deals. Boatloads of migrants, now resorting to riskier routes, are still drowning in the Mediterranean. Meanwhile for those heading to Turkey, explosions, threats of terrorism and government crackdowns on citizen rights await them on arrival. And for refugees who have been subjected to the inhumanities of war, poverty and starvation this represents just another barrier put in place by rich, first world nations, that keeps refugees from achieving any semblance peace and stability.

Photo Credit: Ggia/Wikimedia

43 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago

We need to fix the reason why so many people are leaving their homes. The real problem is that there are so many terrorists infiltrating the refugees. Just look at the Paris and Brussels bombings!

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Marie W.
Marie W2 years ago

Not addressing causes.

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Fi T.
Past Member 2 years ago

Respect others like ourselves

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Sherry Kohn
Sherry K2 years ago

Noted

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Will Rogers
Will Rogers2 years ago

Refugees choose the countries they want to go to by looking at the spent artillery casings after they've been bombed. Some say 'made in France, made in the UK, in Russia, Germany etc.
So where's the people who say All Lives Matter now? The world is getting smaller and smaller every day, we are going to have to learn to live with each other in peace and goodwill, it is inevitable that one day all countries will be multicultural, scientific as opposed to dogmatic, will have one world currency, one world army and international law. In the context of history this isn't as bad as what has already happened, for example; when Europe was a continent of war (up to very recently) they emigrated to and destroyed the cultures of Africa, Australia, north and South America, the carribean, India etc. So it is no surprise to history buffs that History that is forgotten or denied is bound to repeat! So they're a slightly different shade...but it's the same ethos, people running from war and persecution, wanting better lives than they had at home. It's a disaster, but that's what us humans do, we cope with disasters and conquer them. We actually learn more from our failings than from our successes.

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Michele Rosenbaum
m r2 years ago

tyfs

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cheryl detar
cheryl detar2 years ago

IMO...Care2 should not be involved in this issue.

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Janne O.
Janne O2 years ago

Finally! It was high time something was done! As some have already pointed out here, these are mostly fakeugees who bring with them criminal behavior and demands of being sent to specific countries they deem good enough, mostly Germany and Scandinavia.

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