Athens, Aug 18 (IANS) Greece resumed returning refugees to Turkey for the first time since the failed military coup of July 15 in Ankara and the March 18 EU-Turkey refugee return agreement.
Greece returned two small immigrant batches to Turkish authorities in a day. The first group comprised eight Syrian men flown out from the Greek island of Lesbos to Adana airport in Turkey by a Frontex border protection agency aircraft, Efe news reported on Thursday.
This return was followed by another six immigrants who were deported from Lesbos to the Turkish port of Dikili on board a boat chartered by the EU Frontex agency.
According to the local media, police sources said four Pakistani and two Algerian nationals, who demanded their right to seek refugee status, would be sent to a refugee camp near Istanbul.
Since January, 1,055 people have been returned to Turkey under the bilateral Greece-Turkey protocols and 521 under the EU-Turkey agreement.