Brussels (Brussels Morning) Greece has accused Turkey of breaching the 2016 migration agreement with the EU, claiming that the country is pushing migrants across the border.
The Hellenic Coast Guard released a video of Turkish vessels apparently escorting a dinghy full of migrants into Greek territorial waters, according to DW reporting.
Greek officials have accused Turkey of acting like a “pirate state in the Aegean Sea” and insist that the country is violating its migration agreement with the bloc, as they call on the EU to pressure Turkey into meeting its obligations.
According to the 2016 deal, Turkey committed to crack down on human trafficking with the aim of limiting illegal migration to the EU in exchange for billions of euro.
Coast Guard’s comments
“The video shows without a doubt the efforts of Turkish coast guard vessels to make dangerous manoeuvres to guide the dinghy to Greek waters“, the Hellenic Coast Guard stated.
It added that Greek patrols successfully prevented the push, and that the dinghy and its Turkish escort had turned back.
Ioannis Plakiotakis, Greece’s Minister for Shipping and Island Policy, compared Turkey’s actions to piracy and said the EU should put “greater pressure on Turkey to comply with its international obligations.”
Turkey accuses Greece of violating the 2016 migration deal, noting that Athens has been uncooperative. Ankara accused Greece of inhumane treatment of asylum-seekers.
Turkey and human rights activists have accused Greece of illegal pushbacks, claiming the country pushes back migrants from its border with Turkey.
Athens rejects the accusations. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed that Greece’s policies for protecting the EU’s external borders are “tough but fair.”
Greece, one of the main EU entry points for migrants, has previously criticised other bloc members for not helping to share the burden of hosting asylum seekers.