Zimmer responds to the proposal: “People who are seeking asylum or international protection and are currently stranded in Greece must not be deported to Turkey.”

“The European Union and its member states must fulfil their own international obligations rather than defer these to Turkey.”

“The EU must examine claims for protection and asylum on an individual basis, irrespective of the nationality of the applicants. It is not only Syrians who have the right to apply for international protection and asylum, but also those from countries such as Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Nigeria.

“We reject that Turkey – a country whose government has been heavily criticised for a range of serious human rights abuses and takes aggressive actions against its own Kurdish population – should be entrusted to assess the individual claims of asylum seekers. Human rights must not be outsourced to Turkey!

“With this proposal, the European Union is declaring its own moral bankruptcy and helping Erdoğan in his mission to move Turkey further towards becoming an authoritarian state.

“The fair relocation of migrants across the European Union is the only way to meet the current challenge.

“A country whose government respects neither human rights nor freedom of the press, may only be considered as an insecure 'country of origin'. This is especially true for Kurdish asylum seekers from Turkey, Syria and Iraq.

Zimmer asks: “How can the European Union guarantee that Kurdish asylum seekers will receive international protection from Turkey?”

“The European Union should not hire Turkey as its bouncer simply because it is having difficulties in meeting its own legal and moral obligations,” she concludes.


GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Nikki Sullings  +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

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