Monday, 4 April 2016 - 14:15
Turkey to send first asylum seekers to Netherlands on Tuesday
The first group of Syrian asylum seekers from Turkey will arrive in the Netherlands on Tuesday, the European Commission announced on Monday. These are "recognized asylum seekers" that EU member states agreed to take in as part of the asylum agreement with Turkey, which took effect on Monday. On Monday morning 32 Syrian asylum seekers were already flown to Germany from Turkey and 11 to Finland to settle in these countries, according to news wire ANP. Also as part of the agreement, the first batch of migrants entering Europe through illegal routes, was sent back to Turkey early on Monday morning. Two boats departed from the Gereek island of Lesbos. The first, carrying 131 people, arrived already arrived in the Turkish port of Dikili. According to the Commission, they were sent back in full compliance with international law. On Friday Amnesty International reported that Turkey is deporting hundreds of Syrian asylum seekers back to their war torn country, which is illegal under Turkish-, European- and International Law. Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs is investigating the report. Opposition parties GroenLinks, D66 and ChristenUnie feel the agreements should be reversed after this report. Elena Valenciano, president of the Human Rights Committee of the European Parliament, also think that human rights are not respected in sending asylum seekers back to turkey. On Monday she called to stop this practice immediatley, stating that legal and humanitarian safeguards are not guranteed.