Migration arrivals inch up after failed Turkey coup

Migration arrivals inch up after failed Turkey coup

Migrant arrivals in Greece have inched up in the past two weeks after a failed coup in neighbouring Turkey, government figures show.

The average rate has increased to 90 people a day, compared to 30 before the attempted putsch, according to the data.

"For the moment, there is no concern on our part," a Greek government source insisted on Thursday.

"We are following the situation closely and are vigilant… this could be a temporary increase," the official told AFP.

At the height of the migrant crisis last year, thousands of people would land every day on Greek Aegean islands close to the coast of Turkey.

Most were allowed by Greece to continue their journey northwards, prompting an outcry among several European states that hastened to shut their borders earlier this year.

An EU-Turkey accord in March succeeded in stemming the flow, but there are fears in Greece that this deal could unravel after the failed July 15 coup.

A purge in Turkey has seen over 8,000 arrests among the army, the police and judiciary, and hundreds have lost their jobs in every major Turkish ministry.

Three days after the attempt on the government, a group of Turkish officials assigned to monitor the migration deal on the Greek side returned home, and have yet to be replaced.

Over 57,000 mainly Syrian refugees and migrants from other nations are currently trapped in Greece.

Over 9,000 of them arrived after the EU-Turkey deal took effect on March 20, many of them eligible for deportation under its terms.

But fewer than 500 people have been returned so far as thousands have submitted asylum applications in Greece to block the process. [AFP]

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