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Turkey Europe Agreement Refugees

Turkey`s political will has also waned in the face of growing public antipathy towards refugees and Europe`s growing anger at it. Turkey currently hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, including 3.7 million Syrians. The 2016 agreement focused on the so-called “one-for-one” programme, in which Turkey would send a Syrian refugee to the bloc it has taken over from the Greek islands. On Wednesday, the European Commission decided to make available the second tranche of 3 billion euros promised under the refugee agreement. In contrast, the Turkish government has said it has so far received 1.85 billion euros from the EU. Financial support from the EU Fund is provided to Turkey through projects. Aid is not delivered to state coffers. The normalisation of the EU-Turkey agreement represents a major risk to the future of refugee protection. It essentially outsourced border controls in exchange for cash and political actions, at a high cost to refugees.

It is very important that we continue to monitor the situation in Greece and Turkey, especially for the refugees returned to them, and that we take steps to immediately improve conditions – particularly in the Greek islands – and to cancel the agreement. Amnesty International found that under the agreement, “the Greek government has introduced changes to its asylum procedure and that asylum applications have been rejected at first instance as part of an expedited procedure… Many of them have been rejected without judging their merits, considering that Turkey is a safe country for asylum seekers and refugees. The agreement reached between the EU and Turkey in March 2016 is a declaration of cooperation between European states and the Turkish government. It aims to control the flow of refugees and migrants from Turkey to the Greek islands, and was originally aimed at containing the large number of refugees who arrive in Europe in 2015 – or who lose their lives along the way. On 18 March 2016, the EU concluded a migration agreement with Turkey, which aims to allow refugees to enter the EU. As part of the agreement, Turkey has agreed to take back migrants entering Greece and send legal refugees to the EU. In exchange, the EU agreed to grant Turkey six billion euros and grant Turkish citizens visa-free travel by the end of June 2016 if Turkey meets 72 conditions. [69] In March 2016, the EU published a report that Turkey was meeting 35 of the 72 free visa requirements across Europe.

[70] By May 2016, this figure had risen to 65 out of 72. [71] With slow return procedures in Greece, only 1,564 Syrians were returned to Turkey between 2016 and 2018.