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protests in greece as eu-turkey refugee deal nears two years | news


more than a thousand people have rallied in athens against the march 2016 european union-turkey deal to stem the flow of refugees and migrants to the continent.refugees, solidarity activists, leftists and anti-fascists marched throughout the greek capital on saturday, just three days ahead of the eu-turkey deal's second anniversary.the rally was as part of the call for protests to mark the international day for the elimination of racial discrimination, which is commemorated each year on march 21."we have called for protests against all of the eu's deals with countries which were made to return refugees to so-called safe countries," nasim lomani, an athens-based activist with the network of social support for migrants and refugees, told al jazeera.on saturday morning, just hours before the






refugee crisis: northern greece struggles to house new arrivals | greece news


refugee support agencies are reporting a surge in homelessness in northern greece.the surge is being attributed to the big rise in refugees avoiding the greek islands and using the land border from turkey across the evros river into greece instead.the main city in northern greece, thessaloniki, has apparently run out of room completely to house new arrivals.al jazeera's laurence lee reports from thessaloniki, greece.






turkish, greek ministers meet over migrants, asylum requests


ankara, turkey — the foreign ministers of turkey and greece are meeting in ankara amid a reported increase in the number of migrants illegally entering greece from turkey.the talks between turkey's mevlut cavusoglu and nikos kotzias of greece on tuesday also come amid tension over greek courts' decision not to extradite eight turkish officers whom turkey accuses of involvement in last year's failed coup. the decision sparked strong protests from ankara.the u.n. reported an increase in migrant arrivals from turkey in september. it was the highest monthly record since march 2016, when the european union and turkey stuck a deal to restrict the flow of migrants into europe.greece and turkey are nato allies but have long-standing disputes, including aegean sea boundaries, undersea exploration r






greek, turkish leaders meet amid tension over servicemen


athens, greece — the prime ministers of greece and turkey are meeting in athens, amid tension over the fate of turkish servicemen seeking asylum in greece whom turkey accuses of involvement in last year's failed coup.greece's alexis tsipras told binali yildirim that despite disagreements, the two neighbors and historic regional rivals can only benefit from good relations.he said it was positive that although both countries suffered severe difficulties recently — greece's debt crisis and turkey's coup attempt — neither tried to take advantage of the other's troubles.greece and turkey stand far apart on many fronts, including aegean sea boundaries and undersea exploration rights, the war-divided island of cyprus and the servicemen.greece's high court has refused to extradite the eight men to






turkish, greek ministers meet over migrants, asylum requests


ankara, turkey (ap) — the foreign ministers of turkey and greece are meeting in ankara amid a reported increase in the number of migrants illegally entering greece from turkey.the talks between turkey’s mevlut cavusoglu and nikos kotzias of greece on tuesday also come amid tension over greek courts’ decision not to extradite eight turkish officers whom turkey accuses of involvement in last year’s failed coup. the decision sparked strong protests from ankara.the u.n. reported an increase in migrant arrivals from turkey in september. it was the highest monthly record since march 2016, when the european union and turkey stuck a deal to restrict the flow of migrants into europe.greece and turkey are nato allies but have long-standing disputes, including aegean sea boundaries, undersea explorat






ngos criticise turkey-eu deal on refugees | news


a turkey-european deal to stop the flow of refugees into europe has made seeking refuge in the continent "mission impossible" as vulnerable people stuck in camps in greece suffer serious mental illnesses, according to a number of charities.the international rescue committee (irc), norwegian refugee council (nrc) and oxfam said on thursday that the deal exposed refugees to risk and abuse, and accused europe of setting a dangerous precedent."the eu-turkey deal is playing roulette with the futures of some of the world's most vulnerable. it has become mission impossible for those who need it most to seek refuge in europe," panos navrozidis, the irc's country director in greece, said.testing the turkey-europe migrant dealin a separate statement on the same day, save the children and doctors wit






ngos criticise turkey-eu deal on refugees | news


a turkey-european deal to stop the flow of refugees into europe has made seeking refuge in the continent "mission impossible" as vulnerable people stuck in camps in greece suffer serious mental illnesses, according to a number of nongovernmental organisations.the international rescue committee (irc), norwegian refugee council (nrc) and oxfam said on thursday that the deal exposed refugees to risk and abuse, and accused europe of setting a dangerous precedent."the eu-turkey deal is playing roulette with the futures of some of the world's most vulnerable. it has become mission impossible for those who need it most to seek refuge in europe," panos navrozidis, the irc's country director in greece, said.testing the turkey-europe migrant dealin a separate statement on the same day, save the chil






top greek court hears syrians' bids against return to turkey


athens, greece — greece's supreme court has heard the appeals of two syrian refugees against their planned deportation to turkey, a case that could affect thousands trapped on greece's islands under a year-old european union deal with turkey.the two men, aged 21 and 29, reached greece's eastern island of lesbos in july 2016, four months after the agreement designed to stem uncontrolled migration flows came into effect.their bids for asylum in greece were rejected.under the march 20 agreement, migrants should be returned to turkey, which is deemed a safe country for refugees, unless they can convince authorities that they merit asylum in greece instead. rights groups have criticized the deal.the supreme court in athens on friday heard arguments by lawyers. a new hearing is planned for next






refugees in greece reflect on another year of waiting | greece news


athens, greece - closed borders, racism, xenophobic attacks, rejected asylum applications, poverty and lengthy waits.these experiences are what many refugees and migrants in greece say defined 2017 for them.more than 60,000 refugees and migrants are trapped in greece due to sealed borders across the so-called balkan route and the march 2016 deal between turkey and the european union, which was sculpted to stem the flow of displaced people to europe.that deal has been roundly condemned by rights groups and watchdogs.more than 15,000 refugees and migrants have been confined to greek islands by a government policy that bars them from moving to the mainland until their asylum procedures have been completed.although arrivals sharply decreased after the eu-turkey deal, the united nations refugee






refugee boat sinks between greece and turkey, 16 drown | greece news


at least 16 people, including two children, have drowned when an inflatable boat sank in the eastern aegean sea between greece and turkey, according to greek authorities.greece's coastguard said on monday that the bodies of nine people - six women, two men and a child - had been recovered overnight from greek waters off the island of lesbos, while turkish authorities found the bodies of a further six men and a child in turkish waters.refugees freezing in cold-hit greecetwo women from the boat were rescued and several other people were believed to be missing. several vessels are continuing the search. the boat was believed to have set sail from turkey late on sunday. the alert was raised on monday morning by a greek navy vessel that spotted bodies in the water.citing survivors, the united n






eleven people drown as boat capsizes in aegean sea | turkey news


at least 11 people have died after a refugee boat capsized in the aegean sea, off the western coast of turkey, according to turkish authorities.the inflatable boat was carrying 20 foreign nationals and was en route to the greek islands when it sank off the coast of kusadasi district in western aydin province, the turkish coastguard said in a statement on friday.when time stopped at sea - witness (26:00)nine people were rescued, it added.the dogan news agency said all the 11 victims, including five children, were syrians.video broadcast by the dha network showed half a dozen bodies laid out near ambulances after they had been recovered from the water.police said they arrested two people believed to be human smugglers who testified that they were on the boat with the refugees. read more: 201






migrant crisis: at least 15 die as boat capsizes off greece


image copyrightepaimage caption the eu saw the lowest number of detected illegal border crossings last year at least 15 migrants, including five children, have died when their boat capsized as they tried to cross from turkey, the greek coastguard has said. about 20 are believed to have been on board, and several are unaccounted for. coastguard vessels and helicopters are searching for more survivors off the island of agathonisi, close to the turkish coast.saturday's incident is thought to be the highest death toll of migrants trying to reach greece in months.last year, the european union saw the lowest number of detected illegal border crossings since the migrant crisis began four years ago, european border agency frontex said last month, afp reports.the eu reached deal with turkey in 2016






a year on, key eu-turkey migration deal looks wobbly


lesbos, greece — the waters off the greek island of lesbos once echoed with the shrieks of people drowning as they struggled to reach europe and the thrumming of rescue helicopters.a coastguard patrol friday encountered nothing more alarming than a few fishing boats.a year-old deal to stem uncontrolled migration between turkey and greece's eastern islands explains why.since the european union and turkey reached a deal to dissuade migrants to cross the mediterranean, the number of new arrivals has dropped from 1 million annually to under 25,000.turkey's recent diplomatic fight with the netherlands and germany over allowing visiting turkish officials to campaign for a referendum that would expand the president's authority threatens to scuttle the agreement.the agreement hinges on turkey taki






death on the mediterranean |


while fewer refugees have drowned in the mediterranean so far in 2017 compared with the same period a year ago, the number of arrivals has fallen drastically - meaning that those who do set off from the libyan coast have a greater chance of dying.at least 2,550 refugees and migrants died in 2017 from january 1 to september 13, compared with 3,262 from january 1 to september 13, 2016, the iom said – a drop of 22 percent.however, arrivals to europe have fallen much more sharply to 128,863 from 293,806 – a year-on-year decrease of 57 percent.at this year's rate, one refugee would die for every 50 who land in europe. last year, one person would die for every 90 who safely reached europe. read more - iom: refugees dying at quicker rate in mediterraneanthe central mediterranean journey, from lib






death on the mediterranean |


while fewer refugees have drowned in the mediterranean so far in 2017 compared with the same period a year ago, the number of arrivals has fallen drastically - meaning that those who do set off from the libyan coast have a greater chance of dying.at least 2,550 refugees and migrants died in 2017 from january 1 to september 13, compared with 3,262 from january 1 to september 13, 2016, the iom said – a drop of 22 percent.however, arrivals to europe have fallen much more sharply to 128,863 from 293,806 – a year-on-year decrease of 57 percent.at this year's rate, one refugee would die for every 50 who land in europe. last year, one person would die for every 90 who safely reached europe. read more: iom - refugees dying at quicker rate in mediterraneanthe central mediterranean journey, from lib






shariah law puts greece at odds with european court—and with turkey


komotini, greece—in this sliver of land on the border with turkey, about 100,000 greek citizens live with a relic of greece’s historically fraught relations with its neighbor: shariah law.in western thrace, shariah law is enforced for muslim citizens, making greece the world’s only non-muslim country that officially applies laws grounded in the islamic faith. but...






the latest: merkel praises turkey for refugee reception


copenhagen, denmark — the latest on migrants and asylum-seekers in europe (all times local):4:40 p.m.german chancellor angela merkel has renewed her praise for turkey's efforts to take care of refugees and said it's only right for europe to continue supporting it despite tensions with ankara.speaking at a european peoples party congress in malta, merkel rhetorically asked if only turkey, jordan and lebanon should bear the brunt of the refugee exodus when syria sits just beyond europe's eastern outpost at cyprus.she said: "apart from all the criticism we currently have for turkey, they did a lot for the 3 million refugees and it's right that europe would assist turkey in this matter."she said germany decided to take in refugees because europe had "neglected a lot beforehand." ''the truth is






greece: asylum seeking man found hanged at piraeus port | greece news


greek authorities are investigating the apparent suicide of a man, believed to be a refugee, at the port of piraeus.the man, who was carrying asylum application papers, was found hanged early on monday close to  a passenger ferry terminal at greece's biggest port near the capital, athens, the coastguard said. a coastguard spokesperson told al jazeera that the man had not yet been identified and an autopsy was pending. read more: spurned, hopeless and attacked, refugees' drama goes on greek media, however, said that the man was a 25-year-old refugee from syria, citing unnamed sources.refugees got talent - witnesshis identity could not be independently verified.an estimated 62,000 refugees and migrants are currently stranded in mainland greece and its islands owing to a wave of european bord






greece: asylum-seeking man found hanged at piraeus port | greece news


greek authorities are investigating the apparent suicide of a man, believed to be a refugee, at the port of piraeus.the man, who was carrying asylum application papers, was found hanged early on monday close to  a passenger ferry terminal at greece's biggest port near the capital, athens, the coastguard said. a coastguard spokesperson told al jazeera that the man had not yet been identified and an autopsy was pending. read more: spurned, hopeless and attacked, refugees' drama goes on greek media, however, said that the man was a 25-year-old refugee from syria, citing unnamed sources.refugees got talent - witnesshis identity could not be independently verified.an estimated 62,000 refugees and migrants are currently stranded in mainland greece and its islands owing to a wave of european bord






greece: asylum seeking man found hanged at piraeus port | greece news


greek authorities are investigating an apparent suicide by a man, believed to be a refugee, at the port of piraeus.the man, who was carrying asylum application papers, was found hanged early on monday close to  a passenger ferry terminal at greece's biggest port near the capital, athens, the coastguard said. a coastguard spokesperson told al jazeera that the man had not yet been identified and an autopsy was pending. read more: spurned, hopeless and attacked, refugees' drama goes on greek media, however, said that the man was a 25-year-old refugee from syria, citing unnamed sources.refugees got talent - witnesshis identity could not be independently verified.an estimated 62,000 refugees and migrants are currently stranded in mainland greece and its islands owing to a wave of european borde






greece: asylum seeking man found hanged at piraeus port | greece news


greek authorities are investigating the apparent suicide of a man, believed to be a refugee, in the port of piraeus.the man, who was carrying asylum application papers, was found hanged early on monday close to  a passenger ferry terminal at greece's biggest port near the capital, athens, the coastguard said. a coastguard spokesperson told al jazeera that the man had not yet been identified and an autopsy was pending. read more: spurned, hopeless and attacked, refugees' drama goes on greek media, however, said that the man was a 25-year-old refugee from syria, citing unnamed sources.refugees got talent - witnesshis identity could not be independently verified.an estimated 62,000 refugees and migrants are currently stranded in mainland greece and its islands owing to a wave of european bord






turkey asks greece for administrative deportation of two coup suspects


athens—turkey has requested the administrative deportation of two turkish soldiers in greece who are believed to have participated in mid-july’s failed coup attempt, several greek officials said wednesday.the two servicemen arrived in greece after crossing the evros river on feb. 15 and requested political asylum. they are being held in a police station in northern greece on charges of entering the country illegally.under...






eleven refugees drown as boat capsizes in aegean sea | turkey news


at least 11 syrian refugees have drowned after a boat capsized in the aegean sea, off the western coast of turkey, according to turkish authorities.the inflatable boat was carrying at least 20 people and was en route to the greek islands when it sank off the coast of kusadasi district in western aydin province, the turkish coastguard said in a statement on friday.when time stopped at sea - witness (26:00)"nine migrants were rescued," the coastguard statement added.the dogan news agency said all 11 victims, including five children, were syrians.video broadcast by the dha network showed half a dozen bodies laid out near ambulances after they had been recovered from the water.police said they arrested two people believed to be human smugglers who testified that they were on the boat with the






eleven refugees drown as boat capsizes in aegean sea | turkey news


at least 11 syrian refugees have drowned after a boat capsized in the aegean sea, off the western coast of turkey, according to turkish authorities.the inflatable boat was carrying at least 20 people and was en route to the greek islands when it sank off the coast of kusadasi district in western aydin province, the turkish coastguard said in a statement on friday."nine migrants were rescued," the coastguard statement added.the dogan news agency said all 11 victims, including five children, were syrians.video broadcast by the dha network showed half a dozen bodies laid out near ambulances after they had been recovered from the water.police said they arrested two people believed to be human smugglers who testified that they were on the boat with the refugees. read more: 2016 - the year the w






turkish coast guard: 48 syrian migrants stopped at sea


istanbul — turkey's coast guard has prevented 48 syrian migrants from reaching greece, but turkey's foreign minister said saturday that the migrant deal is at risk if the country's citizens aren't granted visa-free travel.the migrants on a rubber dinghy were stopped after a tip early friday, the coast guard said in a statement. aerial footage accompanying the statement shows the dinghy at sea followed by the rescue operation off the coast of kusadasi in western turkey.according to coast guard statistics, 1,812 migrants have been stopped at sea and 19 smugglers apprehended this year.the number of migrants making the illegal crossing to greece dropped dramatically since the eu-turkey migrant deal last march. turkey also agreed to take back migrants who crossed to greece after the deal was st






turkish coast guard: 48 syrian migrants stopped at sea


istanbul (ap) — turkey’s coast guard has prevented 48 syrian migrants from reaching greece, but turkey’s foreign minister said saturday that the migrant deal is at risk if the country’s citizens aren’t granted visa-free travel.the migrants on a rubber dinghy were stopped after a tip early friday, the coast guard said in a statement. aerial footage accompanying the statement shows the dinghy at sea followed by the rescue operation off the coast of kusadasi in western turkey.according to coast guard statistics, 1,812 migrants have been stopped at sea and 19 smugglers apprehended this year.the number of migrants making the illegal crossing to greece dropped dramatically since the eu-turkey migrant deal last march. turkey also agreed to take back migrants who crossed to greece after the deal w






the great population exchange between turkey and greece | turkey


filmmaker: isil ocalas part of the treaty of lausanne in 1923, greece and turkey agreed to uproot two million people in a massive population exchange, the lasting effects of which are still felt by some in both countries today.the exchangees had to travel on foot, by train and by sea and many of the ships involved in this mammoth operation were full to overflowing. the elderly and the young especially suffered from the terrible travel conditions."my mother had to throw my younger sister, who was three or four, into the sea. i don't remember it but that's what my mother told me", says huseyin selvi, who had to leave greece when he was five years old. at the age of 97, he was able to travel back to the village where he was born. only since the 1990s has it been possible for the "exchangees"






greek court says turkish servicemen must stay in custody


athens, greece — a greek court has ruled that eight turkish servicemen seeking asylum in greece must remain in temporary police detention even though turkey's request for their extradition has been rejected.the pilots and flight engineers fled to greece in a military helicopter a day after the failed july 15 military coup in turkey.the court on wednesday upheld police arguments that they should be detained for three months pending examination of their asylum bids, due to national security concerns.the men had appealed for release, arguing that they have not been convicted of any wrongdoing.greece's supreme court last week rejected turkey's extradition request, saying that the eight men wouldn't get a fair trial in turkey, and that their lives might be in danger there. the decision prompted






turkish servicemen in greece seek release from custody


athens, greece — a group of turkish servicemen seeking asylum in greece have appeared before an athens court to contest their continued detention despite the rejection of turkey's request for their extradition.the pilots and flight engineers fled to greece in a military helicopter a day after the failed july 15 military coup in turkey.greece's supreme court ruled last week that the eight men wouldn't get a fair trial in turkey, and that their lives might be in danger there. the decision prompted anger from turkey.the supreme court ordered their release from police custody, but police later extended their detention order on national security grounds for three months, pending examination of their asylum bids.the men appealed that decision in an administrative court monday. a ruling is expect






ecj rejects legal action against refugee quotas | news


the european union's highest court has dismissed complaints raised by slovakia and hungary against a mandatory quota to accept asylum seekers, established as part of efforts to resettle arriving refugees more equally across the bloc.eu countries agreed in september 2015, at the height of europe's migrant crisis, to relocate 160,000 refugees from greece and italy over two years. yet, only approximately 27,700 people have been moved so far.  europe's refugee challengeslovakia and hungary's legal action, which was seeking to have the refugee-sharing scheme annulled, was struck out on the grounds that current eu policy is "proportionate", a european court of justice (ecj) statement said on wednesday.the long-awaited ruling added: "the mechanism actually contributes to enabling greece and italy






ecj rejects legal action against refugee quotas | news


the european union's highest court has dismissed complaints raised by slovakia and hungary against a mandatory quota to accept asylum seekers, established as part of efforts to resettle arriving refugees more equally across the bloc.eu countries agreed in september 2015, at the height of europe's migrant crisis, to relocate 160,000 refugees from greece and italy over two years. yet, only approximately 27,700 people have been moved so far.  europe's refugee challengehungary and slovakia's legal action, which was seeking to have the refugee-sharing scheme annulled, was struck out on the grounds that current eu policy is "proportionate", a european court of justice (ecj) statement said on wednesday.the long-awaited ruling added: "the mechanism actually contributes to enabling greece and italy






turkey's coast guard stops nearly 100 migrants at sea


istanbul — turkey's coast guard says it has stopped nearly 100 migrants attempting to reach greece, most of them syrians.the coast guard said in a statement that 63 syrian migrants were intercepted off the coast of izmir province on saturday. in accompanying footage, a coast guard vessel is seen following a rubber dinghy. two turkish nationals alleged to be smugglers were apprehended.footage from the dogan news agency showed coast guard and security officials transporting a body bag with the remains of a young man thought to be a migrant.the coast guard says it stopped 36 other migrants on saturday, also in izmir.nearly 6,000 migrants have been stopped so far this year as part of a deal between turkey and the european union to curb illegal migration to greece.






greece: 1 dead, several missing as boat with migrants sinks


athens, greece — authorities in greece say a woman has died, and several people are believed to be missing after a boat carrying migrants from nearby turkey sank off the greek island of kalymnos.the coast guard said that 13 people were rescued after the wooden boat sank in mild weather conditions before dawn friday. a search was launched for the missing migrants.greece has seen a spike in arrivals of migrants and refugees in recent months — rising to an average rate of 200 per day, according to the government. greece says that a 2016 agreement between the european union and turkey to combat migrant trafficking is currently not in danger of collapsing, despite a strain in relations between the eu and ankara.






greece: 1 dead, several missing as boat with migrants sinks


athens, greece (ap) — authorities in greece say a woman has died, and several people are believed to be missing after a boat carrying migrants from nearby turkey sank off the greek island of kalymnos.the coast guard said that 13 people were rescued after the wooden boat sank in mild weather conditions before dawn friday. a search was launched for the missing migrants.greece has seen a spike in arrivals of migrants and refugees in recent months — rising to an average rate of 200 per day, according to the government. greece says that a 2016 agreement between the european union and turkey to combat migrant trafficking is currently not in danger of collapsing, despite a strain in relations between the eu and ankara.






turkish coast guard in dramatic rescue of stranded migrants


istanbul (ap) — turkey’s official news agency says the coast guard has launched a dramatic rescue operation to evacuate migrants stranded on rocks in the aegean sea.at least 68 migrants were attempting to illegally cross to greece on a rubber dinghy from the western province of izmir. anadolu agency said authorities intervened after receiving an emergency call.video showed a helicopter lifting a person off the rocks using a rope. anadolu said two helicopters and a boat were dispatched for the operation.there was no information on the migrants’ nationalities but more than 3.3 million syrians live in turkey.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.at the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, more than 857,000 migrants reached greece from turkey. a 2016 deal between turkey an






syrian refugee detained in greece on terror charge


thessaloniki, greece — a syrian refugee has been arrested in northern greece on terrorism-related charges following a review of his asylum application, police said friday.authorities said the 32-year-old man was detained thursday in the northeast city of alexandroupolis as a suspected fighter of the islamic state group while in syria.the man, who hasn't been named, traveled to a greek island from turkey last year and lives in the northern city of thessaloniki with his wife and two children.he denied the charges and shouted "they are liars" to reporters, before appearing at a public prosecutor's office friday. he was given until monday to prepare his defense, but remained in custody.at his home, the suspect's wife spoke to the associated press but asked not to be named because her husband h






greece: at least 7 injured in migrant detention center fight


athens, greece — greek authorities say at least seven people have been injured in an overnight brawl at an overcrowded migrant detention center on the island of lesbos.police said wednesday the fight broke out tuesday night between kurdish and arab men in the moria camp and lasted for hours, leaving several tents inside the camp burnt.island authorities and human rights groups have long complained about the conditions in moria, which has been severely over capacity for several months.under a 2016 european union-turkey agreement, migrants arriving on greek islands from turkey are held on the islands facing deportation to turkey unless they successfully apply for asylum in greece. the deal has created a massive backlog as hundreds of people continue to arrive.