In a clear sign that Turkey was letting refugees cross its border into Europe to pressure the EU, it arrests thousands of refugees mere hours after deal was made.
Just hours after a deal was brokered between the EU and Turkey about the containment of refugees within Turkey’s borders, 1,300 asylum seekers were arrested on the country’s coast where they were getting ready to cross by boat to the Greek island of Lesvos. The EU has promised to pay Turkey the sum of 3 billion euros and a relaxation of visa regulations. In exchange, Turkey will serve as Fortress Europe’s border police.
“Turkey has stepped up a crackdown on people smuggling, arresting 1,300 asylum seekers in a single operation just hours after the country promised to curb the flow of refugees to Greece in exchange for financial aid from the EU. … Hundreds of Syrians, Afghans, Iranians and Iraqis and three people smugglers were seized on Monday in the countryside near Ayvacık, a Turkish town north of the Greek island of Lesbos, Reuters and the Associated Press reported. … The Ayvacık sweep is thought to be the largest single mass arrest of refugees in recent months, and follows an agreement on Sunday that saw the EU pledge to give Turkey €3bn (£2bn) in exchange for increased border patrols. … the arrest of more than a thousand people in one day suggests Turkey is increasing efforts to secure its borders in response to the EU deal. Rights groups warn this development will endanger refugee lives, since those who still want to reach Europe will be forced to try riskier methods.”
Continue reading at The Guardian.
Source URL — https://roarmag.org/2015/11/30/turkey-arrests-refugees-eu-deal/