Greece Hit By Sudden Surge In Refugees – Did Erdogan Break EU-Turkey Immigration Deal?
As tensions soar between Ankara and Berlin following Germany’s angry response to Erdogan’s call for those of Turkish descent to vote against Merkel, a coincidentally huge wave of refugees has suddenly started appearing on Greek coasts, making some wonder if Erdogan has broken his EU-Immigration deal.
The last six days have seen over 1,200 refugees and migrants arrive Greece from Turkey.
- August 18: 105
- August 19: 308
- August 20: 136
- August 21: 397
- August 22: 250
- August 23: 174
Source: Greek Migration Ministry
A FRONTEX vessel rescued 48 refugees off the small island of Ro in the south-eastern Aegean.
2,400 people arrived in Greece August 1-20, 2017. Half of them arrived within just the last few days.
Local authorities observe the increasing number of arrivals with “keen concern” to see whether the phenomenon is temporary, linked to the good weather conditions, or if there is a more general trend. They already warn that the situation on the islands is slowly getting out of control.
More than 14,000 people are trapped on the Greek islands that have a hosting capacity for 5,576 people.
Total numbers on the islands: 14,221
- in hotspots: 8,179
- in unofficial hotspots: 3,449
Reports from the island of Chios underline that a lot of refugees and migrants live outside the hotspots, spread across land plots without tents or any other facilities.
“Little kids are seen walking around without shoes and sleep in carton boxes,” PolitisChios.gr reports from the area around the unofficial hotspot of VI.AL.
On the island of Samos the situation is reportedly not much better
Sudden migrant flow increase – a Turkish plan?
According to the correspondent of AthensNewsAgency on the island of Lesvos, the Turkish Coast Guard has announced that it had zero intervention in the issue of refugees and migrants from the Turkish coast to the Greek islands as of August 15th.
However, the increase of the refugee and migrants flow does coincide with the bitter row between Ankara and Berlin.
Last Friday, President Erdogan described the main German political parties as “enemies of Turkey” and urged his German of Turkish descent to not vote for Merkel’s CDU, the Social Democrats and the Greens.
German politicians responded with fury to Erdogan’s remarks.
Meanwhile in Athens, Afghan migrants staged a protest outside the Ministry of Migration and the offices of the European Commission demanding the cancellation of the EU-Turkey deal, ‘equal rights treatment of protection seekers’ and a stop in the deportation of Afghan migrants from EU countries.
Last year, the European commission had excluded Afghans from its refugees lists claiming their lives were not at risk if they should be deported to Afghanistan. They were no longer war refugees, Brussels ruled.
The Afghan protest was supported by Greek solidarity groups.