Turkey keeps Syrian scholars, sends off others: EU

May 21, 2016 9:40 pm

Refugee men attend a silent protest at a makeshift camp for migrants and refugees at the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of Idomeni on April 23, 2016. (AFP)

is banning Syrian academics from leaving the country and only permitting the severely ill and uneducated refugees to take part in a one-for-one controversial resettlement deal with the , a report says.
According to a report published by the German magazine Spiegel on Saturday, several EU countries have censured Turkey’s highly selective approach on sending Syrian refugees to Europe.
Based on a deal struck with the EU in March, refugees arriving on European soil via the Aegean Sea may be sent back to Turkey. For each refugee returned, the EU will take one Syrian refugee currently living in Turkey.
In return, the EU has made several commitments to Ankara, including financial aid, visa-free travel for Turks, and progress in its EU membership negotiations.

Refugees at a camp on the Turkish-Syrian border in Gaziantep on April 23, 2016. (AFP)

The report said that during an internal EU meeting in Brussels, the Luxembourg representative stressed that there are “many serious medical cases or refugees with very low education” being sent from Turkey as part of the deal.
German Deputy Interior Minister Ole Schröder has also reported a large number of similar incidents to the German parliament.
Meanwhile, Germany, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg have presented information showing that over the last few weeks Turkey has started to withdraw the relocation permits of refugees who are well-trained engineers, doctors, or skilled workers.
The process of selecting the refugees to be relocated is usually handled by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) but according to the report, Ankara has informed the UN refugee agency that it has claimed the right to choose who leaves and who stays.
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