Syrian Resettlement to Europe Picks Up Following EU-Turkey Agreement

Turkey - Following the 4th April launch of the European Union (EU)-Turkey agreement on migrant returns and resettlement, IOM has facilitated the resettlement of 350 Syrians from Turkey to Europe. It expects to resettle another 300 this week.

The 350 Syrians have left Turkey for Austria, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Of these, 120 persons have been resettled from Turkey to the EU under the EU-Turkey Statement of 18 March 2016 to Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and Lithuania. 

“The accelerated pace of resettlements of Syrians to Europe over the past month is a welcome development,” said Lado Gvilava, IOM Turkey Chief of Mission. “Turkey is hosting about 2.9 million refugees, asylum seekers and people under temporary protection. The number of people in the region in need of international protection is overwhelming.  This is not something one country or even one region can address on its own.”

“The whole international community needs to pull together to address the root causes and to offer more legal migration pathways. If we fail, then these vulnerable people may easily run out of options and be forced to choose dangerous, irregular migration routes,” he added.

The ongoing resettlements to Europe are part of commitments made under the 21 March 2016 European Commission proposal to create 54,000 resettlement slots.

Under the EU-Turkey agreement, IOM is not involved in the return of migrants and refugees from Greece to Turkey.  But it does facilitate resettlement of refugees from Turkey to third countries, including EU member states. So far this year, IOM Turkey has facilitated the resettlement of over 1,100 refugees to Europe and over 4,000 to other countries.

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