Committees at odds with Council of State over refugees’ safety in Turkey


Hundreds of Syrian refugees face more uncertainty – albeit of a more positive nature – following two separate recent decisions by asylum appeals committees ruling that Turkey cannot be deemed a safe third country.

The decisions contradict a September ruling by the Council of State, Greece’s highest administrative court, which found that refugees deported to Turkey under a deal with the European Union face no threat of torture, inhumane treatment or punishment. That ruling had been seen as paving the way for the deportation of at least 700 Syrians in Greece who had appealed the rejection of their requests for asylum in the EU.

While the more recent decisions may be welcomed by asylum seekers worried about becoming trapped in Turkey and outside the European Union, it has caused concern on the Greek islands hosting overcrowded refugee processing centers, as they will likely lead to additional delays in deportations.