The first asylum seekers due to be sent back to Turkey will be arriving in the tourist town of Dikili, and local residents are not happy about the deal.
CCTV’s Michal Bardavid reports from Dikili, Turkey.
“NO – to refugee camp, we don’t want refugees!” chant a group of locals in Dikili.
The Turkish government signed a controversial deal last month with the European Union hoping to stop the flow of Syrian refugees to Europe, especially those crossing across to Greek islands.
Under the terms of the deal, Turkey is expected to take refugees who crossed illegally and are refused asylum. For each returned refugee, a Syrian migrant is to be resettled in the EU.
“With the one-for-one method, the number of refugees in Turkey will not increase and also nobody will sustain any human loss with the ambition of traveling to Europe via the Aegean Sea. This practice will begin as of April 4,” Turkey Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.
Turkey is also to receive additional financial aid, visa-free access to the Schengen Zone in June and EU membership talks are to be accelerated.
The first group of refugees are expected to arrive in Dikili, located right across the Greek island of Lesbos.
The local community has held a demonstration, and signed a petition protesting the anticipated arrival of refugees.
“Now the local population is 45,000, but in the summer it rises to 250,000-300,000, with an additional refugee camp there won’t be enough room,” a Dikili resident said.
Despite objections by community members and representatives of the local government, preparations for the arrival of refugees continues. Yet where they will be taken, and whether or not this will be a temporary solution, is still unknown.