Accessibility links

Greece Begins To Deport Migrants To Turkey Under EU Deal

Greece has started to deport the first wave of migrants to Turkey under an EU plan aimed at easing mass migration to Europe.

Two Turkish-flagged passenger boats carrying 131 migrants left the island of Lesbos on April 4, according to the EU border agency Frontex, which is escorting them to Turkey.

The migrants, mostly from Pakistan and Bangladesh, are being transported to Dikili, in western Turkey.

Meanwhile, the first Syrians arrived in Germany and Finland from Istanbul on April 4 under the controversial deal.

Sixteen asylum seekers flew into the northern city of Hanover and were to be taken to a nearby refugee shelter.

In Finland, immigration officials said 11 Syrian asylum seekers arrived by plane as part of Finland's quota of 750 refugees it has agreed with the EU to accept this year.

Officials said they were being housed at a refugee reception center before accommodation is found elsewhere in the country.

Under the EU-Turkey deal, Ankara will take back all migrants and refugees, including Syrians, who enter Greece illegally in return for the EU taking in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and rewarding it with more money, early visa-free travel, and progress in its EU membership negotiations.

The EU-Turkey deal has been condemned by rights groups and there are concerns over a lack of preparation.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP