Greek Court Deems Turkey Safe for the Return of Refugees

The Council of State on Friday ruled that Turkey is safe for the deportation of migrants and refugees who entered Greece illegally.

Greece’s highest administration court deemed that refugees and migrants deported to Turkey do not face threat of torture, punishment, or inhumane treatment.

The decision came after an appeal lodged by two Syrian men who did not qualify for asylum and were fighting deportation to Turkey.

Under a March 2016 agreement between Turkey and the European Union, Greek authorities have the right to return to Turkey asylum seekers who entered Greece illegally from there.

However, the vast majority of asylum seekers who were due to be returned to Turkey filed claims that Greece’s neighbor is not safe for them and that they face the threat of inhumane treatment if they are deported.

The Council of Sate ruling has implications for thousands of asylum seekers who entered Greece illegally, as it removes an obstacle in the implementation of the Ankara-EU agreement. So far, very few asylum seekers have been deported to Turkey.