Greek Migration Min: Effort Underway to Send Back Migrants on Turkish-Flagged Vessel

November 1, 2021

ATHENS — Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi on Monday said efforts were underway to repatriate the Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals that arrived on board a Turkish-flagged freighter rescued on Sunday.

Mitarachi said that “for me it is a top priority to agree with the Ambassadors of Pakistan and Bangladesh” so that “the persons not entitled to international protection be returned”, while he also asked for EU to take action.

According to migration ministry sources, of the 375 passengers on board the freighter, who have been transferred to the reception and indentification centre on the island of Kos, 250 are from Pakistan or Bagladesh. Another 112 are from Afghanistan and the rest are from Syria, Iran, Lebanon and Egypt.

Mitarachi said that 140 claim to be minors and that the government has “asked the International Organisation for Migration to send a medical team specialising in age assessement” to verify their claims.

The Turkish-flagged freighter suffered engine failure while sailing in international waters near the island of Crete. Mitarachi pointed out that “Greece responded immediately because the vessel was stranded in the Greece search-and-rescue region”.

He also said that Greece had immediately initiated efforts to inform Turkey and the EU of the incident but Turkey had refused to take back the vessel, even though it had clearly set sail from Turkey, while “there was no specific support capability from the EU”.

Mitarachi is scheduled to visit Turkey on Monday at the invitation of Turkey’s interior minister.


THESSALONIKI – After a 24-year-old woman said she was gang raped at a New Year's Eve party at a hotel in Greece's second-largest city, First Instance Prosecutor Panagiotis Panagiotopoulos ordered a probe into allegations that a sex trafficking ring was behind it and operating there to lure other women.

Top Stories


ATHENS – A major snow storm that had been predicted for days still caught residents in Greece offguard and the New Democracy government scrambling for answers as to why motorists were stuck for hours on major roads.


US Congress represenatives Gus Bilirakis of Florida and Nicole Malliotakis of New York – both Republicans – assailed President Joe Biden's administration for no longer supporting the EastMed pipeline project by Greece, Cyprus and Israel.


WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY – In the presence of distinguished guests, the vasilopita was cut by the Federation of Greek American Educators in the community hall at St Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Washington Heights on January 23.


Meet Methuselah, the Oldest Living Aquarium Fish

SAN FRANCISCO — Meet Methuselah, the fish that likes to eat fresh figs, get belly rubs and is believed to be the oldest living aquarium fish in the world.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.