With a joint ministerial decision, Greece designated Turkey a “safe country” for asylum seekers from specific countries such as from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia. The decision was issued by the Ministry of Migration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It is noted that the Joint Ministerial Decision has taken into account the recent recommendation of the Asylum Service and all the up-to-date information on the current situation in Turkey, regarding the living conditions and human rights of certain categories of applicants for international protection, The Migration Ministry said in a statement.
The decision also acknowledges that Turkey meets all those conditions for examining applications for international protection of applicants whose origin is from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia, as they are not considered to be in any danger in the neighboring country due to their race, religion, citizenship, political beliefs.
In a statement, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis described the decision as an “important step in tackling illegal migration flows and criminal activities of smuggling rings.”
“The joint ministerial decision fully complies with the International Law and shields the legal tools of Greece towards requests by asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia “who objectively do not have a reason to not regard Turkey as a safe country,” the minister added.
Moreover, Mitarakis stressed that the decision is “another step towards the full and unwavering implementation of the EU-Turkey Joint Declaration, which obliges the neighboring country not to allow the operation of smuggling networks and transit in Greece.”