Greece – Turkey | Three-point agreement on immigration
Defence Redefined
Published on 28/10/2023 at 18:35

An agreement between Greece and Turkey, which will contribute to tackling immigration, is about to be reached.

According to Kathimerini, the ongoing discussions have a final date of December 7, when the Supreme Cooperation Council between the two countries will take place in Thessaloniki, in the presence of Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Tayyip Erdogan.

The aim is to have a memorandum of understanding at the end of the Council, which will include, among other things, the following:

  • Firstly, the permanent positioning of a Greek officer of the Hellenic Coast Guard in Smyrna and a corresponding Turkish officer in Mytilini for better coordination between Athens and Ankara in the common goal, which is the control of immigration flows from both sides.

The aim is for both the Greek and the Turkish sides to know how many boats are passing at any time and to be present where necessary to immediately prevent illegal flows.

The agreement seeks to make the information of the Ministers and their offices institutional through the relevant authorities, i.e. the Coast Guards. This will be ensured by the presence of the two officers in the respective centers.

There will also be corresponding communication for the flows in Evros, which have recently been almost eliminated, with the police forces of the two countries being in direct communication.

  • Second, the commitment of the two countries to avoid inflammatory statements from either side, which, as history has shown, can impact the important efforts made recently.
  • Thirdly, the activation of an old request of Ankara, which concerns the easier movement of Turkish citizens to seven islands of the eastern Aegean.

These are Rhodes, Lesbos, Samos, Chios, Kos, Leros and Kastellorizo. Turkish citizens will be able to go to these islands and get a visa on Greek territory that will have – and this is the difference compared to the past – a 12-month validity.

The plan in question is called “visa facilitation” and it has been discussed at length by the Minister of Immigration and Asylum, Dimitris Kairides, with Commissioner Ilva Johansson, with the islands acting as a model for further facilitation of the movement of Turkish citizens in the rest of Europe.

Also read: Pyla | Buffer zone status restored




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