Turkey approves agreement to repatriate Pakistani migrants

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s parliament approved overnight an agreement enabling Ankara to repatriate Pakistani migrants, as people continue to be sent to Turkey from Greece as part of an EU deal to stem mass migration to Europe.


Pakistani migrants are among those that have already been sent back to Turkey under the deal.

Forty-five male Pakistanis arrived back in Turkey from the Greek island of Lesbos on Friday, a Turkish official said, part of a European Union deal that began this week to stem mass migration to Europe across the Aegean Sea.

The official confirmed the identity of the migrant group after the ferry carrying them docked in the Turkish town of Dikili.

Turkey and Germany said Wednesday an agreement between Ankara and the EU meant to stem the flow of migrants to the Greek islands was showing signs of success, but many were still trying to cross the sea and the route remained far from sealed off.

The accord, which came into force on Monday, aims to help end the chaotic arrival of migrants and refugees, most fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, after more than a million reached Europe last year.

The influx has threatened the EU’s system of passport-free travel and prompted its executive to propose strengthening common asylum rules.

On Wednesday, a Pakistani migrant threatened to hang himself during a demonstration inside the Moria registration centre on the Greek island of Lesbos after Turkey and Germany reached an agreement to send back migrants and refugees who cross the Aegean Sea illegally.

The young man climbed a utility pole and forced himself into a makeshift noose made of a scarf, according to Al Jazeera.

Chanting “freedom, freedom”, the 18-year-old threatened to end his life before being convinced by his compatriots and police officers to come down, Greek media reported.