The EU-Turkey-Statement from March 2016 stipulates that "[a]ll new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands as from 20 March 2016 will be returned to Turkey". Under the adjusted procedures, people who arrive on the Greek islands are subjected to accelerated border procedures and an initial admissibility test on their asylum claim.
The European Asylum Support Office (EASO), an EU agency, is in charge of "recommending" a decision to the competent Greek Asylum Service. Based on the dubious assumption that Turkey is a safe third country, many refugees currently face the risk of being deported back there. Cases against this further erosion of the right to asylum are pending at the European Court of Human Rights. At the same time, EASO’s practice is under scrutiny by the European Ombudsman, due to a complaint lodged by ECCHR
This panel will look into the ongoing abysmal situation in the Greek Hotspots and discuss the post-deportation risks faced by individuals returned to Turkey. Orçun Ulusoy and Jill Alpes will present the results of their research in the framework of the University of Utrecht’s project on “Migration Deals”, which provides a critical assessment of the effects of the EU-Turkey Agreement. Following this analysis Robert Nestler and Berenice Böhlo will join to critique recent legal developments in Greece and the restart of Dublin transfers to Greece. Orçun Ulusoy
is a legal scholar at the Free University Amsterdam. He worked as a lawyer in Izmir and was a founding member of ‘Kayiki’, a network of Turkish and Greek human rights activists, researchers and lawyers working on asylum and migration. Dr. Jill Alpes
is a legal anthropologist and independent consultant. She worked as senior policy officer on human rights and deportations at Amnesty International and is a researcher at the University of Utrecht. She also served as coordinator for the post-deportation monitoring network. Robert Nestler
is a research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and Board Member of Refugee Law Clinics Abroad on Chios/Greece. Berenice Böhlo
is a lawyer in Berlin, with a focus on asylum and migration law. Moderation: Carsten Gericke
(Lawyer, Migration Project at ECCHR)