Turkey not in need of new repatriation camps, AFAD's capacity sufficient: Kurtulmuş

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 05.04.2016 22:05
Updated 05.04.2016 22:08
Deputy PM Kurtulmuş addressing a press conference following a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. (AA Photo)
Deputy PM Kurtulmuş addressing a press conference following a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. (AA Photo)

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has said that Turkey does not need any new repatriation camps for asylum seekers who are returning from Greek islands under an agreement with the EU.

Addressing a press conference following a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in the capital Tuesday, Kurtulmuş said existing repatriation camps in Turkey were almost ready.

He said the capacity of the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority is sufficient for the returning migrants. "A new camp is not needed for migrants returning from the Greek islands. The AFAD has an empty camp with capacity for 20,405 people. The migrants can be hosted in these camps," he said.

He also said the EU-Turkey agreement was being implemented without any problem.

However, Greece said that it had postponed the return of the next group of migrants to Turkey until Friday, a Turkish government official said on Tuesday, with no other deportees expected before then.

About the plan for asylum seekers, Kurtulmuş said: "We hope 76,000 migrants will be dispatched to Europe in the short term and a million migrants will be later sent to Europe under the EU-Turkey agreement."

Under the agreement between Turkey and the EU, irregular migrants will be returned to Turkey from Greece in a one-for-one exchange for refugees at Turkish camps.

Around 2.7 million Syrians who have fled the civil war in their country are being sheltered at camps inside Turkey.

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