No: 313, 27 October 2019, Press Release Regarding The Statements Of The Greek Foreign Ministry

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 27.10.2019

Despite Greece’s denial of the fact that irregular migrants are being pushed back to Turkey by Greek authorities, incidents of push backs of irregular migrants by Greek officials from Greece to Turkey continue both at land and sea.

In 2018, 11.867, in the first 10 months of 2019, 25.404 irregular migrants have been pushed back from Greece to Turkey. It has been identified from the testimonials of pushed back migrants that, after detained by Greek officials, their personal belongings were confiscated without any official procedure, they were subjected to unacceptable treatment and beaten and then pushed back to our borders under the company of the Greek officials.

Turkey has all sorts of images, photographs, documents as well as testimonies of pushed back persons regarding push back practices of the Greek officials.

Greece’s push back practices that are violating international law have also been registered in the reports of the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe requested Greece to stop said push back practices and to investigate these incidents.

Greek authorities’ denial of push backs in violation of international law, which are identified by our relevant authorities and by the Council of Europe, does not change the reality on the ground.

We invite the new Greek government to work on correcting this policy that is violating international law, instead of denying push back incidents, which we have every information and document of and which are also identified by the Council of Europe.

Tahsin Tunç Üğdül Ambassador
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