This month the European Commission released a document that designated Turkey as a ‘safe third country’ to which thousands of refugees could be returned. Plans are underway to ensure that all refugees not eligible for relocation in Europe will be returned to Turkey. Three billion Euros have already been provided to the Turkish Government to provide aid to the thousands of refugees currently fleeing Assad regime bombing. Meanwhile President Erdogan has publicly criticised the US Administration for its coalition with Syrian Kurds (e.g. YPG/YPJ) in its war against ISIS, saying that the Kurd militias are ‘terrorists’. And it was only two days ago that 60 Kurds were massacred in the Kurdistan town of Cizre by Turkish forces (including Ergenekon ‘deep state’ assassins).
According to Statewatch EU…
“The Asylum Procedures Directive provides Member States with the possibility not to examine the substance of an asylum claim where, due to a sufficient connection with a “safe third country“, the applicant can instead seek protection there. Where the conditions are met, this provision allows Member States to close the asylum procedure and to return the asylum applicant to the safe third country in question. However, at this stage, not all Member States foresee the application of this possibility in their national laws, or they do so under restrictive conditions. All Member States are therefore encouraged to foresee in their national legislation the notion of safe third countries and to apply it when the conditions are met.
In this context, the Commission underlines that the concept of safe third country as defined in the Asylum Procedures Directive requires that the possibility exists to receive protection in accordance with the Geneva Convention, but does not require that the safe third country has ratified that Convention without geographical reservation. Moreover, as regards the question whether there is a connection with the third country in question, and whether it is therefore reasonable for the applicant to go to that country, it can also be taken into account whether the applicant has transited through the safe third country in question, or whether the third country is geographically close to the country of origin of the applicant.”
Here are the EC documents that incorporate the plans to return migrants to the ‘safe third country’ of Turkey:
Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION (establishing the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union within the Joint Readmission Committee on a Decision of the Joint Readmission Committee on implementing arrangements for the application of Articles 4 and 6 of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Turkey on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation as of 1 June 2016)