Turkey/EU: Refugees must not pay the price in political game

Following reports that Turkey is allowing asylum-seekers to depart its territory and attempt to enter the European Union particularly Greece and Bulgaria, Amnesty International’s Deputy Research Director, Massimo Moratti, said: 

“What we are seeing now at Turkey’s land and sea borders with the EU is that people seeking asylum are once again being used as bargaining chips in a deadly political game, a predictable consequence of the EU-Turkey deal. 

People seeking asylum are once again being used as bargaining chips in a deadly political game, a predictable consequence of the EU-Turkey deal
Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International

EU member states need to do far more to share responsibility for asylum seekers arriving in Turkey, both through financial support and ensuring safe pathways to Europe.

“Greece and Bulgaria must ensure access to their territory for people seeking protection and border guards should refrain from excessive use of force against those gathered at the border. They must be allowed to enter through official border crossings, regardless of whether they have valid travel documents. Countries with external EU borders should keep sufficient, appropriately located, and secure border crossing points open for refugees.

“The European Commission must also urgently coordinate any support that might be required to Greece and Bulgaria to ensure asylum seekers have access to adequate reception and asylum procedures. European member states shoulder their fair share of responsibility.”