IZMIR, Turkey (AA) – A second group of migrants arrived in Turkey from Greece on Friday morning under the EU-Turkey deal to return failed asylum seekers, a security source said.
A ferry carrying an unspecified number of migrants from the island of Lesbos landed in Dikili on Turkey’s west coast accompanied by Turkish Coast Guard vessels, the source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking publicly.
Preparations in Dikili, Izmir province, have now been completed. On arrival, the returnees are fingerprinted, given medical checks and housed in tents.
The EU-Turkey agreement allows for the return of “irregular migrants” to Turkey from Greece in exchange for Syrian refugees to be relocated within the EU. The first batch of returnees arrived in Dikili on Monday.
The deal also provides a 6 billion euro ($6.8 billion) aid package to help Turkey care for millions of refugees, visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the EU and fast-tracked EU accession for Turkey.
It is aimed at breaking the people smuggling gangs who have been trafficking refugees across the Aegean Sea, resulting in hundreds of deaths.
According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 152,000 people have crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece so far this year and 366 have died during the voyage.