Pullback to Turkey organised by Greek official on German boat as part of Frontex operation

In response to a question in the Bundestag, the German interior ministry's parliamentary secretary has said that a Greek official deployed on a German boat as part of Frontex's 'Operation Poseidon' "arranged for the Turkish Coast Guard to take over the persons" on board a boat spotted in Turkish waters, and return them to Turkey.


"The German Government is aware that the "Uckermark" was deployed in the Aegean Sea on 13 May 2020 as part of the Frontex operation "Poseidon". A rubber dinghy was sighted in Turkish waters north of Samos. The Greek Coast Guard liaison officer on board the Uckermark, in coordination with the competent maritime rescue centres in Piraeus and Ankara, arranged for the Turkish Coast Guard to take over the persons on board the boat.

In the context of its own participation in the operations, the German Government is in principle in a position to follow up possible observations associated with the operation, such as the presence of other vessels."

See: Question 75 in: Deutscher Bundestag Stenografischer Bericht, 188 Sitzung, Berlin, Mittwoch, den 4. November 2020 (pdf)

The question was submitted by Andrej Hunko, an MP for Die Linke (The Left). In response to another question from July, the German government stated that German naval vessels deployed as part of a NATO operation in the Aegean Sea had witnessed pushbacks by the Greek authorities, but did nothing to intervene.

Further allegations of pushbacks conducted during Frontex operations were also recently made, leading the agency to launch an "internal inquiry" into the issue. Now "procedural details on how it intends to carry out that investigation, who will do it, and when it expects results remain unclear."

See: Confusion over Frontex's Greek pushback investigation (EUobserver, link)

 

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