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Greece Returns Over 200 Migrants To Turkey


Migrants leave a ferry anchored at port in the Turkish coastal town of Dikili on April 4.

Migrants leave a ferry anchored at port in the Turkish coastal town of Dikili on April 4.

Greece has sent over 200 migrants to Turkey, the first wave of deportations under an EU plan aimed at easing mass migration to Europe.

In all, 202 people from 11 countries -- 191 men and 11 women -- were sent to Turkey from the Greek islands of Chios and Lesbos on April 4.

They included 130 Pakistanis, 42 Afghans, 10 Iranians, five Congolese, four Sri Lankans, three Bangladeshis, three people from India, and one person each from Iraq, Somalia, and Ivory Coast, as well as two Syrians who Greek authorities said had asked to be sent back.

Forty-three Syrian asylum seekers were flown to Germany and Finland on April 4 from Turkey under that part of the deal.

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 AP and AFP
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