Under heavy security, authorities on the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios transported around 200 migrants and refugees on boats to Turkey. This was the first group sent back as part of a controversial European Union plan to limit migration to Europe.

The deportations started at dawn, as people were escorted onto small ferries by officers from the EU border protection agency Frontex to ports on the Turkish coast. The returnees were primarily from Pakistan and some from Bangladesh and they had not applied for asylum, said Ewa Moncure, a Frontex spokeswoman.

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Men are seen on a bus before boarding a Turkish-flagged passenger boat to be returned to Turkey, on the Greek island of LesbosGiorgos Moutafis/Reuters
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A man is seen looking at his documents on a bus as he and others wait to board a Turkish-flagged passenger boat to be returned to TurkeyGiorgos Moutafis/Reuters
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A Frontex officer escorts a man onto a Turkish-flagged passenger boat to be returned to Turkey, from the Greek island of LesbosGiorgos Moutafis/Reuters
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A Turkish boat carrying the first group of migrants to be sent back to Turkey leaves the port of ChiosLouisa Gouliamaki/AFP
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A boat carries people from Lesbos back to TurkeyOzan Kose/AFP
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People disembark from a Turkish coast guard boat in Izmir, TurkeyOzan Kose/AFP
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A man is escorted by a Turkish police officer as he arrives at the port of Dikili, TurkeyMurad Sezer/Reuters
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Tents are prepared for refugees at the port of Dikili district in the city of Izmir in TurkeyOzan Kose/AFP

Under the deal, Turkey will take back all migrants and refugees who enter Greece illegally, including Syrians, in return for the EU taking in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and rewarding it with more money, early visa-free travel and progress in its EU membership negotiations.

A total of 50,000 migrants and refugees are stranded in Greece following EU and Balkan border closures, but only those who arrived after 20 March will be detained for deportation. About 4,000 migrants and refugees are currently being detained on Greek islands.

Amnesty International has called the expulsions "a historic blow to human rights". Giorgos Kosmopoulos, head of Amnesty International in Greece, told the Associated Press: "Turkey is not a safe third country for refugees. The EU and Greek authorities know this and have no excuse. Even if this first group is not refugees, what we are seeing here is symbolic kick off of what might be a very dangerous practice of returns to Turkey."

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A Syrian refugee in Chios holds a child carrying a placard saying they will kill themselves if they are sent back to TurkeyLouisa Gouliamaki/AFP
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People in Chios protest against plans to return them to TurkeyLouisa Gouliamaki/AFP
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A man holds a placard as he stands next to an EU flag at the port at the town of ChiosLouisa Gouliamaki/AFP
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A man holds his daughter, who has the word 'Help' written on her forehead, at the port of ChiosLouisa Gouliamaki/AFP
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Children play with a placard reading 'Freedom' at the port of ChiosLouisa Gouliamaki/AFP
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Refugee children play near the port of ChiosLouisa Gouliamaki/AFP
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A Syrian woman holds a two-month old baby wearing a hat with 'No Turkey' written on itLouisa Gouliamaki/AFP
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Refugees and migrants make their way in the Moria registration centre on the Greek island of LesbosGiorgos Moutafis/Reuters
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A banner hung by activists on a hotel reads "Turkey is not safe" during a protest against the return of migrants to Turkey, at the port of Mytilene on the Greek island of LesbosGiorgos Moutafis/Reuters
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Activists hold placards as they protest against the return of migrants to TurkeyGiorgos Moutafis/Reuters
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Children stand behind a fence inside the Moria detention facility in Mytilene on LesbosAris Messinis/AFP

The EU and Turkey reached the deal in March 2016, after European countries struggled to avoid a repeat of a surge in migration in 2015, which saw more than a million people reach the continent, many fleeing civil war in Syria.