The Turkish town of Dikili has been earmarked to house migrants sent back from Greece under a controversial EU deal.
Many locals say they don’t want a refugee centre in their town. They say a sudden influx of migrants could prompt a backlash and put off tourists. Turkish officials say they are not refugee centres, but rather processing points from which the migrants will be sent elsewhere as soon as possible.
Nurten Ataoglu says other people can shelter the refugees in their homes, but she doesn’t want them.
“I don’t have to put up with the results of the government’s dirty politics. Let us pay 1,000 liras [about 290 euros] each and Europe can take the migrants. We feel sorry in a humanistic manner. We say no to wars.”
“Those who want can shelter the refugees in their homes but I don’t want them,” she adds. “My life comes first. It is more precious than the others.”
Mayor of Dikili Mustafa Torun said: “Dikili is making investments on geothermal and ecological tourism and this will be an obstacle on the way. We had investors. They filed an application to Gendarmerie tourism desk and started investment. But they will now withdraw their investments after years.”
Dikili is located in Izmir province on the Aegean Sea facing the Greek island of Lesbos.
Returns from Monday
Some 750 migrants will be sent from Lesbos to Dikili between Monday and Wednesday, according to Greek news agency ANA.
On Saturday the Turkish coast guard intercepted some 63 people, mostly Syrians, who had set sail from Diliki towards Lesbos.
The migrants were waiting to be registered back in Diliki before being sent to repatriation centres.