Greek pushbacks cost lives of many people: FM Çavuşoğlu 

Greek pushbacks cost lives of many people: FM Çavuşoğlu 

Greek pushbacks cost lives of many people: FM Çavuşoğlu

Migrants are victims of human smuggling, discrimination, and xenophobia and even face systematic and deliberate threats to their lives, with the pushbacks of Greece being an example of this, Çavuşoğlu said on May 19, speaking at the United Nation’s International Migration Review Forum in New York.

“For example, Greece’s repatriation of migrants in the Aegean and ill-treatment at the border cost the lives of many people. It is sad to see that Frontex is also involved in these actions,” he said.

If the factors that cause migration, such as economic inequalities and security problems, are not addressed, the consequences will be faced, Çavuşoğlu said, adding that migration should be handled with a global and sustainable approach.

The Global Compact on Migration, adopted in 2018, is a historical turning point, and it is time to put words into action, the minister said, emphasizing that humane treatment of migrants should also be at the center of this action.

He reminded that Turkey has been hosting the world’s largest refugee population since 2014, and the country has welcomed another 145,000 refugees since the start of the war in Ukraine. Turkey takes an active part in all initiatives for the dignity and well-being of migrants and supports the Global Compact on Migration, Çavuşoğlu said.

Expressing that Turkey supports effective migration policies, Çavuşoğlu noted that the voluntary, safe and dignified return of immigrants should be encouraged.

Turkey’s work in Syria is an example to the world, he said. “As a result of our efforts to provide stability, approximately 500,000 Syrians have returned to areas liberated from terrorist organizations. We will continue to fight the PKK/YPG terrorist organization that prevents the return of civilians. We will continue to build accommodation and improve these areas to encourage voluntary returns.”

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, meanwhile, said the return rate of irregular migrants, which is around 18 to 20 percent in the world, is 40 to 45 percent in Turkey. A total of 502,000 people voluntarily returned to their country, the minister said, referring to the refugees in Turkey.

Stating that 2,600,000 people were prevented from entering the borders of Turkey in the last six years, Soylu said, “Attempts were made, they were detained, but they could not enter. Approximately 1,250,000 people were caught in the last six years, and nearly 400,000 of them were sent back to their countries.”