Greek and Turkish Ministers Forge Collaboration on Migration Management

Stylianides

The Greek Shipping and Island Policy Minister met with Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya in Ankara on Thursday to discuss the migration issue. Stylianides had a private meeting with Yerlikaya before the two delegations convened, including the Port Authority chief and officers on the Greek side and the chiefs of police and gendarmerie on the Turkish side.

Both parties acknowledged that the migration issue is a shared challenge between Greece and Turkey, and they agreed to collaborate rather than work in parallel to manage it. Stylianides expressed, "Today is a new start in jointly dealing with migration flows at sea."

According to sources, an agreement was reached to establish direct communication between the chiefs of the Greek Port Authority and the Turkish Coast Guard. Additionally, an officer will be designated as a contact person to facilitate ongoing communication. Regular meetings will be set between port officials and regional authorities on both sides of the marine borders, recognizing the local nature of the migration issue. The Turkish gendarmerie will take preventive measures on land to curb migration flows before boats depart. Both sides will exchange information on managing illegal migration rings.

Yerlikaya is scheduled to visit Athens in February, where he will meet with three ministers related to the migration issue – migration, citizen protection, and shipping.

Stylianides described the meeting as very positive and conducted in a constructive climate, focusing on transforming the informal collaboration into a systematic joint management of the migration problem at the sea borders of both countries. Coast guard officials from both sides met to address technical issues and work on practicalities related to collaboration in the field.

The Turkish Interior Ministry emphasized that they exchanged views on opportunities for collaboration between the two countries to combat illegal migration and the unlawful transport of migrants. The discussion also covered enhancing collaboration and communication between the administrations of the Port Authority in both countries.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024