The EU-Turkey statement of 18th of March 2016 was presented as a “humanitarian solution” to the so-called “refugee crisis”. In practice, it quickly became the inhumane face of the European Union’s border regime. Together with further readmission agreements between Greece/the EU and Turkey, it is used as the basis for deporting people from the Greek Islands to Turkey, where most are eventually detained and deported to their countries of origin. This blog, run by an independent monitoring group of activists and scholars, documents the deportation process and brings to the fore discrepancies between official information and actual practice.
Remarkably little is known about the process of “readmission”. So far, we have observed several cases where the procedure of deportations from the Greek Islands strongly violates the principles of the involved institutions, with no official monitoring structure denouncing these violations. Back in Turkey, there are even fewer structures monitoring the post-deportation situation of migrants, where most of the deported migrants are detained immediately after arrival and eventually deported back to their countries of origin.
Through analysing reports and procuring documents a potential trend has emerged that could mark a new stage in the EU-Turkey deportation regime. While in recent years, deportations have predominantly been from the Greek Island of Lesvos to Dikili, from where people are brought to detention centres in Turkey, since janurary 2018 Frontex has a framework contract that states, that ferries will leave from Chios and Kos directly to Turkey. As the deportation budget is expanded, suggesting a routinisation of deportation and migrant detention.
While the blog does not represent an all-encompassing documentation of all deportations from Greece to Turkey, it presents a data breakdown and analysis of deportations. We will publish monitoring reports of deportations mainly carried out from Lesvos Island, in-depth analysis as well as information about involved actors and companies.