30 Turks a day have fled to Greece since snap election decision

File photo.

Thirty Turks have fled to Greece daily since the announcement of snap elections in Turkey on June 24, the Greek Kathimerini newspaper reported.

According to official data cited by the newspaper 7,103 people crossed into Greece at the Evros River border in the first five months of the year, while 9,375 arrived in the Greek islands off the coast of Turkey, bringing the total number of arrivals to 16,478, 6,632 of them in April alone.

Due to the numbers Greece’s Migration Policy Ministry is planning to increase the capacity of refugee and migrant centers on the mainland in order to manage the recent increase in arrivals from Turkey. Kathimerini also said the European Union agrees with the plan.

Since it will add to the cost of running the refugee camps, the government is seeking to reduce overcrowding by investing in diplomacy with Turkey as well as introducing a bill that will speed up the asylum process.

The daily food costs are currently 3,5 euros per person according to an official announcement.

A report released by the New York-based Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF) has showed a tremendous increase in the number of asylum seekers from Turkey and urged the international community to ensure that Turkish citizens are not deported back to Turkey, where they risk being subject to severe and irreparable harm.

The JWF called on the international community in its report, titled “Escaping the Witch Hunt From Turkey & Around the World – The Right to Leave,” to assist in the resettlement efforts of Turkish nationals, to avoid the forcible return of individuals at extreme risk to Turkey or any other place where they face torture, ill-treatment and a real threat to their lives.

Underlining the fact that immediately following a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, in the third quarter of 2016, European Union member states recorded a more than threefold (228 percent) increase in first-time applicants from Turkey for international protection compared with the same quarter of 2015. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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