10. Deportation Monitoring Aegean, dm-aegean.bordermonitoring.eu/2019/03/09/7-march-lesvos-turkey/ (access: 18 March 2019). Ankara and Brussels signed an agreement in 2016 to find a solution to the influx of refugees pouring into the EU. Under the agreement, Turkey received a total of 6 billion euros in financial aid, which was initially to be allocated in two stages to the country and used by the Turkish government to finance projects for Syrian refugees. Visa exemption for Turkish citizens was also promised as part of the agreement. In 2002, a readmission protocol between Greece and Turkey was signed to combat illegal immigration. In this context, a proposal was first put on the agenda to promote the applicability of the provisions of the readmission agreement between the European Union and Turkey on the readmission of third-country nationals, signed on 1 October 2014, from 1 October 2017 to 1 June 2016. However, while the legal procedure for promoting the effective date was still being worked out, the parties announced on 18 March 2016 that the EU and Turkey had reached an agreement to end Turkey`s irregular migration to the EU. (4) The main features of this agreement (also known as the EU-Turkey Declaration or „EU-Turkey Agreement“) were: return of irregular migrants returning from Turkey to the Greek islands to Turkey from 20 March 2016; the establishment of a system in which, for every Syrian returned from the Greek islands to Turkey, another Syrian would be relocated from Turkey to the EU, taking into account the UN`s vulnerability criteria (i.e. the „1:1 programme“); preventing new routes for illegal immigration between Turkey and the EU; as soon as the irregular crossings between Turkey and the EU have been interrupted or, at the very least, considerably reduced, the activation of a voluntary readmission system in which eu Member States would contribute, provided all the benchmarks have been met, the acceleration of a process of visa liberalisation with a view to lifting the visa requirement for Turkish citizens by the end of June 2016; the payment of EUR 3 billion under the Refugee Mechanism in Turkey to support various projects and an additional 3 billion euros in the same facility. „There is an agreement on migrants with the EU, that is indeed. And there is a bilateral readmission agreement with Greece, we have now suspended that agreement. However, the number of readmissions is low. In the last three years, according to the Turkish Ministry of the Interior, only 1,884 people have been repatriated to Turkey under the agreement, including 357 Syrians.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on Thursday that the readmission agreement with Greece had been suspended while a separate migrant agreement with the European Union was still in force. „We will not wait at the door of the EU. The readmission agreement and the visa waiver agreement will come into force at the same time,“ Foreign Minister Mevl`t Avu-o-lu said in a televised interview yesterday, adding that Turkey had decided to suspend its obligations under the agreement. ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey has suspended its readmission agreement with Greece, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted by the state-run Anadolu Agency, days after Greece released four Turkish soldiers who fled from prison after an attempted coup in 2016. 22. Reliefweb, reliefweb.int/report/greece/eu-turkey-deal-leading-short-sighted-and-dangerous-migration-policies-three-years (Access: 18 March 2019) 17.