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Greek legislation designates Turkey as a safe third country, for the first time

This decision is for asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia

Turkey has been designated a safe haven for asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia, according to the Joint Ministerial Decision by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Migration and Asylum. Taking into account the latest recommendation of the Asylum Service and all the updated information on the current situation in Turkey, regarding the living conditions and human rights of certain categories of applicants for international protection, the Joint Ministerial Decision acknowledges that Turkey meets all the conditions for consideration of applications for international protection of applicants, whose origin is from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia, as they are not considered to be at any risk in the neighboring country due to race, religion, citizenship, political beliefs.

In this regard, the Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarakis stated:

Designating Turkey as a safe third country is an important step in tackling illegal migration flows and the criminal activity of smuggling networks

The Joint Ministerial Decision – as a derivative of cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Migration and Asylum – is fully in line with international law and increases Greece’s legal arsenal against the demands of citizens from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan , Bangladesh and Somalia, countries that have no reason to consider Turkey an unsafe country

Above all, it 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 crossings into Greece. “

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