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Greek legislation designates Turkey as a safe third country, for the first time. This decision is for asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia

Turkey is designated a safe country for asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia, according to the Joint Ministerial Decision by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Migration and Asylum. Taking into account the recent recommendation of the Asylum Service and all the up-to-date information on the current situation in Turkey, regarding the living conditions and human rights of certain categories of applicants for international protection, the Joint Ministerial Decision acknowledges that Turkey meets all those conditions for examining applications for international protection of applicants whose origin is from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia, as they are not considered to be in any danger in the neighboring country due to their race, religion, citizenship, political beliefs.  

The Minister of Migration and Asylum, Mr. Notis Mitarachi, stated: Mr. Notis Mitarachi stated:  

The designation of Turkey as a safe third country is an important step in tackling illegal migration flows and the criminal activity of smuggling networks  

The Joint Ministerial Decision -as a derivative of the cooperation between Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Migration & Asylum- is fully in line with international law and enhances Greece's legal arsenal against requests by citizens from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia, countries that they have no reason whatsoever to consider Turkey a non-safe country  

Above all, it is another step for the full and unwavering implementation of the EU-Turkey Joint Declaration, which obliges the neighboring country not to allow the operation of smuggling networks and the passage to Greece

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