400 migrants were in a boat crossing international waters between Greece and Turkey when the boat ran into trouble and was helped by Greece’s coastguard.
The ship started from a port in Turkey and was destined for Italy. Greece has contacted Turkey and requested that the boat be returned to Turkey.
The Turkish Coast Guard Chamber of Commerce responded negatively to the Greek request for the return of the ship to Turkey, citing the international search and rescue conditions stipulating that the ship should be taken to the nearest safe port.
The subsequent process of transporting the 400 illegal immigrants from the port of Kos who disembarked from the Turkish cargo ship has started.
The majority of illegal immigrants are young Afghans and Pakistanis and include traffickers. Upon their arrival in Kos, they will be transferred to the Reception and Identification Centre in Pyli.
Greece has made a formal request to Turkey to take back the ship, which, according to the coast guard, sailed from the Turkish coast and was headed to Italy.
“We have notified the EU that Turkey is refusing to take their vessel back. .. It is time for the EU to act and provide impactful solidarity and ensure the EU/Turkey statement is upheld,” Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarakis said on his Twitter account.
The EU and Turkey have signed an agreement which states Turkey to take back those migrants crossing into the EU from its territory that are not granted asylum.