Turkey ready to receive migrants

(VOVworld)- The EU-Turkey migrant deal took effect on Monday. Under the agreement, Ankara will take back all migrants and refugees, including Syrians, who enter Greece illegally in return for the EU taking in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey.
Turkey ready to receive migrants - ảnh 1
Migrants are seen on a bus before boarding a Turkish-flagged passenger boat to be returned to Turkey, on the Greek island of Lesbos, April 4, 2016- Reuters/Giorgos Moutafis

Between April 4th and April 6th, approximately 750 refugees will leave trhe island of Lesbos in Greece to return to Turkey. Germany, France, the Netherlands, Finland, and Portugal will be the first EU countries to receive refugees from Turkey. In the first wave, these EU countries will each receive 1,600 refugees. Germany is expected to receive an additional 13,500.

Turkey had earlier set up two centers to receive migrants from Greece. One center is 500 square meters in area and situated opposite Greece’s Chios island. The other center is in Dikili, opposite Greece’s Lesbos island. The two centers belong to the coastal city of Izmir, west of Turkey. After clearing health checks and registration, migrants from Greece will be sent to a refugee camp in Turkey. The European Border Agency has hired two Turkish ships to carry the migrants from Lesbos to Dikili. The agency will send 400 of its staff to Lesbos to escort the migrants to Turkey. Germany, Lithuania, and Estonia have sent police and border soldiers to Greece to aid this effort.

Last month, the EU and Turkey signed a deal to reduce the migrant flow to Europe. The EU agreed to accelerate negotiations on Turkey’s bid to become an EU member which has been delayed for several years, doubled the EU’s assistance for refugees in Turkey to 6 billion euros and removed the visa requirements for 78 million Turkish people. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the deal will not increase the number of migrants in Turkey and that the migrants will not have to risk their lives to cross the Aegean sea to Europe. The EU-Turkey migrant deal also aims to prevent human trafficking from Turkey to Greece.

Turkish officials say the migrant flow to Europe is not likely to end immediately, but the number of migrants crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey to Greece has fallen sharply in the past few months. A new wave of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Italy has emerged. The Italian Ministry of Home Affairs estimates that Italy is likely to receive 270,000 migrants in 2016, 150% more than last year.