IOM Resettles Syrian Refugees from Turkey to Europe Following “Swap” Deal


Turkey - Over the past week IOM Turkey has facilitated the resettlement of 109 Syrians to European Union (EU) countries, following Monday’s launch of the 18 March agreement between EU heads of state and Turkey, under which one condition is the “1-to-1 swap.”  Some 72 percent of them were women and children.

IOM is not involved in the return of migrants and refugees from Greece to Turkey under the agreement.  It will, however, continue to facilitate the resettlement of refugees from Turkey to third countries, including EU member states.

“We are observing the situation in Turkey under the EU-Turkey deal,” said Lado Gvilava, IOM Turkey Chief of Mission.  “The most important thing is to address the reasons behind why these people decided to make the dangerous journey to Europe in the first place – mainly to escape violence and conflict.” 

“The entire international community now needs to act quickly to find more legal pathways, including resettlement and relocation, to offer these desperate people. If we fail, they will return to the dangerous, irregular migration options offered by the smugglers,” he added.

The ongoing resettlements to Europe are part of commitments made by EU member states at the 22 July 2015 European Council, which created a joint EU resettlement scheme, of which 18,000 resettlement remain unfilled. 

So far this year, IOM Turkey has facilitated the resettlement of over 1,000 refugees to Europe and over 3,800 to other countries worldwide.

For further information, please contact Abby Dwommoh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 455 1202, Email:

A Syrian refugee child leaves Turkey for resettlement in Europe. Photo: IOM 2016