A record number of refugees have recently reached the Greek islands from Turkey, according to the latest data from the UN refugee agency.
At least 3,695 refugees reached the Aegean Greek islands in August alone, data from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shows.
The number is the highest since March 2016, when the EU and Turkey signed a deal to prevent mass migration to Europe.
The readmission deal allows for the return of “irregular migrants” to Turkey from Greece in exchange for Syrian refugees to be relocated within the EU.
In return, the EU promised Turkey an acceleration of Turkey’s EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area, on the condition that Ankara meets 72 requirements set by the EU.
The Turkish authorities previously said the refugee deal could collapse if the EU failed to provide Ankara with the promised visa liberalization by the end of this year.
Hundreds of thousands have made short but perilous journeys across the Aegean to reach northern and western Europe.
Nearly 2,000 refugees per month cross into Greek islands, according to the UNHCR data.
Hundreds of people have died at sea as a number of boats carrying refugees sank or capsized. The Turkish Coast Guard has rescued thousands.
Source: Anadolu Agency