Greece has been asking Turkey to take back the boat since Friday.
Nearly 400 illegal immigrants disembarked on Sunday from a Turkish-flagged ship that allowed Greece to dock, even though it accuses Turkey of violating the migration agreement, according to Greek authorities.
Greece has been asking Turkey to take back the boat since Friday. In the face of Turkish disapproval, the Greek authorities finally allowed the illegal immigrants to disembark on the island of Kos, in the Aegean Sea. According to the Coast Guard, they have been taken to a reception hall, where they will be quarantined and tested for coronavirus.
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The ship was drifting
According to the Immigration Department, 382 people disembarked and six of them were arrested for questioning. Nationalities are not specified.
Immigration Minister Notis Mitarashi denounced on Twitter “Another dangerous and illegal journey from the Turkish coast without the Turkish authorities noticing».
Due to an engine problem, the ship was drifting off Karpathos when it issued a distress signal. According to the Greek coast guard, the ship left Turkey in high winds and none of the passengers were wearing life jackets.
On Saturday, Greece accused Turkey of knowingly allowing the boat to leave, in violation of a March 2016 agreement that provided for a genuine effort by Ankara to curb migration from its territory in exchange for aid.1 billion euros in financial support from the European Union.
«Once again, Turkey has failed in its duties towards the European Union. You will not accept the return of the Turkish-flagged boat that left a Turkish port visibly in full view of the Turkish Coast Guard, and continues to disregard human life,” Greek Maritime Trade Minister Giannis Plakiotakis commented on Saturday. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 2,500 people have crossed the Aegean Sea this year from neighboring Turkey, compared to 9,700 in 2020, the year UNHCR identified more than 100 dead or missing.
The Greek islands located east of the Aegean Sea are the first Greek islands to be reached from the Turkish coast by boats of all types and sizes used by illegal immigrants.
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