Migrant Arrivals to Europe From Turkey Double

According to a confidential EU report, 70,000 migrants have crossed from Turkey to the EU this year.

The numbers raise questions about whether an EU-Turkey refugee deal is unravelling.

Around 68,000 of these migrants crossed the Aegean to Greece, where they are living in overcrowded migrant camps. Smaller numbers reached Bulgaria, Italy and Cyprus.

In a new development, most migrants came from Afghanistan. Their share is now 30%, while the proportion of asylum applications from Syria is only 14%, followed by Pakistanis (9.5%), Iraqis (8.0%) and citizens of Turkey (5%).

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What is the situation on the ground?

The arrivals in Greece have put extreme pressure on overcrowded refugee camps on the Aegean islands. There is a lack of food, clothing and medicine.

The Greek government is transferring more and more asylum seekers onto the mainland.

According to the EU-Turkey migrant deal, that is only granted if those concerned are especially "vulnerable" because they are unaccompanied children or they are sick or pregnant.

What does this mean for the EU-Turkey deal?

The development raises questions about the extent to which Turkey is complying with the 2016 refugee agreement with the European Union, Die Welt reported.

Under the deal, Turkey is obliged to take back asylum-seekers who passed through its territory and to prevent them from crossing to Europe.

In exchange, Turkey receives a total of €6 billion ($6.7 billion) in funding to help with the Syrian refugee crisis. Ankara has repeatedly complained that the EU is not living up to its obligations and demanded more funds.

"It has been reported that in some situations Turkish patrol boats have not intervened and even pushed refugee boats into Greek waters after being notified by the Greek coast guard," the confidential EU report states.

Ayhan Mehmet/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

What happens to the migrants?

A core element of the deal is that migrants stay on the islands so that they have no chance to travel onwards to other EU member states.

From the beginning of this year to mid-December, 34,000 migrants have been brought to the Greek mainland.

According to the EU report, some stay in Greece, but many try to reach the Albanian border and from there travel onwards, with the help of smugglers, through the Balkans to Austria and Germany.

You can read this article as it originally appears at Deutsche Welle here.

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(PHOTO: Gokhan Balci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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This article originally appeared at Deutsche Welle.