Stop pushing-back refugees in Greece

Stop pushing-back refugees in Greece

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Thousands of people travel to safe countries and request for asylum every year in order to run away from the war in their home countries. The people, who do not feel safe in their own countries, carry out this transition through illegal ways in order to leave their countries. There are two options for refugees. They will either continue trying to survive against oppression, tyranny, and an environment of war in their home countries, or they will take the road and risks being assaulted or being killed on their way to freedom.

People are already facing many challenges in this way to freedom. In addition to these, Greece is illegally carrying out the practice of push-back on the refugees who use Greece as a transition country in order to reach Europe for years. Greece sends the refugees they catch on the border back to Turkey on boats without any kind of processing or following a legal procedure with this deportation method.

Even though it is widely known that this push-back or deportation practice of Greece is against the international agreements according to the 1951 Geneva Convention article number 33, which reads “No Contracting State shall expel or return a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion”, it is still being carried out widely by the Greek forces.

In order to arouse the attention of the responsible parties about the topic, Greek NGOs including GCR, HumanRights360, and ARSIS published a report about the push-back practice of Greece.

Push-Back Practice By Greece Towards Turkish Refugees

Turkish refugees are forced to cross into the Greek border in order to escape from the oppression of the Erdogan regime for the last three years as a result of the so-called 15 July 2016 coup attempt.

Most of the refugees, who manage to cross the Evros River, are caught by the Greek security forces only to be handed over to Edirne Immigration Authority. Just a few lucky refugees manage to take shelter in the villages near the Evros River. Most of the Turkish people are taken into custody right after they set foot back on Turkey.

Most recently, Turkish people are being sent back more often. According to the news by Zubeyir Koculu on IPA New, an asylum-seeking Turkish family, H. and S. Gul together with their three children, entered Greece last week. They were sent back to Turkey by camouflage-wearing masked individuals with different nationalities. While the Turkish gendarmerie released the Afghan and Syrian refugees, they arrested H. and S. Gul.

Last Friday, it was revealed that a group of 11 Turkish refugees, who were beaten by some armed men only to be sent back to Turkey, crossed into Greece again on Saturday.

After all of these push-back and violent enforcement, the European Commission sent a warning to Athens according to the news published by the Euro News reporter Gülsüm Alan. The written explanation of the European Commission reads “The European Commission takes the case very seriously about the alleged maltreatment of the Turkish refugees and immigrants. Violence and abuse against the refugees and immigrants cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.”

For these people, we just want the freedom they deserve.