Under heavy security, authorities on the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios deported 202 migrants and refugees on boats bound for Turkey — the first to be sent back as part of a controversial European Union plan to limit the amount of migration to Europe.
A clash of values will almost certainly continue to define relations between Europe and Turkey. But, as has been true for a century, much more – both sides’ fundamental security interests – will be in the balance as well.
The first boats returning 131 migrants and refugees from Greece arrive in Turkey on Monday, as part of a new deal between the European Union and the Turkish government. Ankara has agreed to take back anyone who entered Greece illegally, in exchange for the EU taking in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey. The new deal, which was signed in March, has been criticised by rights groups
Travellers sceptical over Facebook ad for alternative passage to EU avoidng Greece after scams and ‘ghost ship’ perils
Turkey-based smugglers have begun to re-advertise trips between Turkey and Italy, in the first hint of a shift in migration patterns since the EU agreed a deal to deport any refugees landing in Greece.
In January, the European Commission gave Greece three months to improve its border controls, and process refugees and migrants more effectively, or face suspension from the borderless Schengen area. Border controls have been reinstated by six of the 26 Schengen states (Austria, France, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden). Hungary built a fence last year to keep out migrants arriving from Serbia. EU ministers are discussing whether to suspend the Schengen arrangements for up to two years.
This neat map presents Europe not as a collection of countries but as a diagram of its largest cities; the accompanying post argues that large cities effectively transcend their host nations and will become the 21st century’s geopolitical order.