EU pays €4.7M euros per refugee sent to Turkey, German press reports

The European Union has paid the Turkish government 4.7 million euros per refugee sent to Turkey in return for the “readmission deal” signed in 2016, according to the German daily Bild.

Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu attends the signing ceremony of the EU-Turkey deal in 2013.

Duvar English

The number of refugees sent back to Turkey since March 20, 2016 within the scope of the “readmission agreement” signed between Turkey and the European Union (EU) is 2,140 and about 10 billion euros have been transferred from the EU to Turkish government in return, the German daily Bid reported.

According to daily, the EU paid Turkey 4.7 million euros (approximately 136.3 million Turkish liras) per refugee.

Seven years have passed since the deal was implemented, and there have been no large-scale returns from particularly Greece to Turkey, a crucial route for refugees.

Turkey has been refusing to receive refugees from EU since March 2020, the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic.

During this time, approximately 37,397 refugees have been resettled from Turkey to EU member states under the agreement.

Nonetheless, the influx of refugees has dramatically decreased particularly in the Aegean Sea route. 

The “renewal of the readmission deal” has been voiced loudly in the EU for some time, especially by Greece.

Recently, Greek Migration Minister Dimitrios Kairidis has said that Turkey was not implementing the refugee agreement and that a new refugee agreement should be made between the EU and Ankara.

Kairidis noted that "Germany should step in" for such an agreement.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR), around 19,000 people reached Greece by land or sea via Turkey until September 2023. This number was recorded as 18,700 in 2022.

The deal was one component of the EU's reaction to a significant increase in the number of refugees arriving on European shores in search of safety and protection in 2015, one of the intense times for the conflicts in Middle East.

During that year, nearly one million refugees arrived in the EU, with over 3,500 losing their lives. 

More than 75% of those arriving in Europe were fleeing conflict and persecution in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.