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Questions over whether Turkey and Greece are ready for controversial return of migrants

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By Seamus Kearney
Questions over whether Turkey and Greece are ready for controversial return of migrants

<p>Just hours before the controversial EU-Turkey migrant deal is due to fully come into force, there are still questions about whether Greece and Turkey are prepared for what many warn will be a chaotic operation. </p> <p>In Turkey, in the western town of Cesme, there are signs of some work underway to create processing centres for the thousands of migrants Brussels is hoping will be sent back from Greece. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Protests against migrants' presence staged in both Greece and Turkey, <a href="https://twitter.com/CostasKantouris"><code>CostasKantouris</a> reports <a href="https://t.co/TmsaPlUPQ4">https://t.co/TmsaPlUPQ4</a></p>&mdash; The Associated Press (</code>AP) <a href="https://twitter.com/AP/status/716377434690568193">April 2, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Sadullah Gökçekaya, one of the Turkish workers building the processing centres, told reporters: “We started on Friday. They said migrants will come from Greece. </p> <p>“We will start to finish it today (Sunday). We may continue to work until 11 pm to get it ready.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Greece is preparing to start deporting migrants back to Turkey despite mounting concerns <a href="https://t.co/c7JhMLti7F">https://t.co/c7JhMLti7F</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZuW1I7Ve5T">pic.twitter.com/ZuW1I7Ve5T</a></p>— Sky News (@SkyNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/716264790730137601">April 2, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>On the Greek island of Lesbos, where hundreds of thousands have flowed into Europe since last year, reporters say there has been little evidence of preparation work on the ground. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Violent clashes erupted in Greek refugee camps as as Greece pressed ahead to deport migrants to Turkey <a href="https://t.co/Jic3tBUe4x">https://t.co/Jic3tBUe4x</a></p>— The New York Times (@nytimes) <a href="https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/716013537194323968">April 1, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>A <span class="caps">UNHCR</span> spokesman on Lesbos, Boris Cheshirkov, said: “We feel that there are still deficiencies and gaps in both countries that need to be addressed. </p> <p>“We’re not opposed to returns as long as people are not in need of international protection, they have not applied for asylum and human rights are adhered to.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">There are currently around 51K refugees and migrants in Greece <a href="https://t.co/0uY6MzCy8C">https://t.co/0uY6MzCy8C</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Europe?src=hash">#Europe</a> <a href="https://t.co/ySSLRI7c3c">pic.twitter.com/ySSLRI7c3c</a></p>— UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) <a href="https://twitter.com/Refugees/status/716463705601531904">April 3, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Migrants are still arriving in Greece and many of those stuck there are vowing they will not go to Turkey willingly.</p> <p>Numerous human rights groups continue to criticise the plan, warning it is neither legal nor viable.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Europe is planning to press ahead with return of hundreds of migrants from Greece to Turkey <a href="https://t.co/gHy2e3iBHG">https://t.co/gHy2e3iBHG</a> <a href="https://t.co/DRpW6czL9V">pic.twitter.com/DRpW6czL9V</a></p>— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) <a href="https://twitter.com/Telegraph/status/715769440235831298">April 1, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">766 refugees & migrants reached Greece on 29th March – a spike in arrivals <a href="https://t.co/Wg4saeO3NJ">https://t.co/Wg4saeO3NJ</a> <a href="https://t.co/kkM0QuSFn8">pic.twitter.com/kkM0QuSFn8</a></p>— UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) <a href="https://twitter.com/Refugees/status/715897980298125312">April 1, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Greece readies to send first migrants back in EU-Turkey deal <a href="https://t.co/fU1jQsyxsm">https://t.co/fU1jQsyxsm</a> <a href="https://t.co/H4b3YapEay">pic.twitter.com/H4b3YapEay</a></p>— <span class="caps">AFP</span> news agency (@AFP) <a href="https://twitter.com/AFP/status/716340905326862336">April 2, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>