Turkey seeks readmission deals with Iraq, Iran
Emine Kart - ANKARA
AA photoNeighboring Iran and Iraq are among the 14 countries with which Turkey has offered to sign readmission agreements in a move to enable Turkey to take back migrants rejected by the European Union more quickly.
In addition to Iran and Iraq, Turkey has proposed Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Eritrea, Morocco, Ghana, Myanmar, the Republic of Congo, Somali, Sudan and Tunisia conclude readmission deals, Turkish officials told Hürriyet Daily News on April 12.
“Negotiations have still been underway with these source countries,” the same officials, speaking anonymously, said.
Late on April 7, Turkey’s parliament approved overnight a readmission agreement enabling Ankara to repatriate Pakistani migrants, as people continue to be sent to Turkey from Greece as part of an EU deal to stem mass migration to Europe. Pakistani migrants are among those that have already been sent back to Turkey under the deal.
At the moment, Turkey also has readmission agreements with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Greece, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Moldova, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.
As of April 8, Greece deported a second batch of more than two hundred migrants to Turkey under the controversial EU deal that aims to stem mass migration as Germany announced a sharp drop in asylum claims.
Greek officials said two boats carrying 124 migrants -- most of them Pakistani men -- had been sent back across the Aegean Sea where hundreds have lost their lives in a quest to reach Europe.
A Greek government statement said the migrants included 111 Pakistanis, four Iraqis, as well as citizens of Bangladesh, India, Morocco, Egypt, and a man claiming to be of Palestinian origin. One of the Pakistanis was not accepted by Turkish authorities at the harbor town of Dikili for undisclosed reasons and was returned to Lesbos, the statement said. In a separate operation, another 97 people -- mainly Pakistanis and Bangladeshis -- were returned to Turkey via the land border, Greek police said.
Turkey has promised to take back all irregular migrants entering Greece since March 20 while Europe has agreed to resettle one Syrian refugee from interim camps in Turkey for each Syrian deported.