The first group of refugees sent back from the Greek Island of Lesbos were brought to the Turkish town of Dikili on 4 April, under a controversial deal aimed at stopping the influx of refugees and migrants into Europe. The first of two Turkish-flagged passenger boats accompanied by two Turkish coast guard vessels arrived at the port of Dikili under tight security.
A few dozen police and immigration officials waited outside a small white tent on the quayside as the migrants began to disembark behind security fencing. The returnees were primarily from Pakistan and some from Bangladesh and they had not applied for asylum, according to officials from the EU border agency Frontex.
Under the EU-Turkey one-in, one-out deal, all migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey would be returned. For each Syrian sent back, a Syrian already in Turkey would be resettled in the EU. Turkey would also get extra funding and progress on EU integration. Also included in the deal is early visa-free travel.
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and human rights groups have denounced the agreement as lacking legal safeguards. Amnesty International called it "a historic blow to human rights" and sent a delegation to the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios to monitor the situation.