open democracy.net | 5 December 2021|
Turkish asylum seekers allegedly being pushed back in small boats by Greece
Three Turkish nationals seeking asylum in Greece in September were allegedly tortured by plain-clothes Greek officials, who then illegally put them on a boat back to Turkey, openDemocracy can reveal.
Furkan Kurt, one of the three men, told openDemocracy that on 28 September they swam a 3.6-kilometre shortcut, with the help of a sea-scooter, from the Turkish coastal town of Kusadasi to the Greek island of Samos. They then walked 10 kilometres away from the coast, heading in the direction of the centre of the island, before being picked up by port police and illegally forced to return to Turkey, where they risked persecution.
According to Kurt, during the beatings, the Greek coast guard repeatedly asked the three men questions about how they had managed to cross the Aegean, what they had used to do so, and at which point they had started their journey. The three men refused to answer. “I reckon they beat us to punish us for being able to cross the Aegean without them knowing,” Kurt said. “They wanted to get more information about how we managed to cross and what methods we used. They were showing their teeth to prevent us from trying to cross again.”