The committee of judges allowed a Syrian who appealed against the rejection of his asylum application contrary to stay for a more thorough examination in the country. The Committee said that Turkey is not a safe third country, and the case should be examined further, according to the Athens newspaper Kathimerini, Friday.
Under the deal, migrants arriving in Greece after March 20 are being processed in "hotspots" from where migrants deemed "irregular" – not meeting the requirements for asylum – are dispatched back to Turkey in return – on a one-for-one basis – for a Syrian refugee being relocated from Turkey to EU member states.
The deal includes an agreement that all Turks will be allowed visa-free access to EU members states by June 2016.
Many relief agencies – including Médecins Sans Frontières, the International Rescue Committee, the Norwegian Refugee Council, Save the Children and the Red Cross – have joined the UN refugee agency UNHCR in saying the EU-Turkey deal is either immoral or illegal as the "hotspots" have become detention centers.
They also say Turkey is not a "safe country" for migrants to be returned to, under the Geneva Convention.
The EU-Turkey migrant deal is already falling apart because of the visa-free travel part of the agreement, which would allow for Turks to have access to the Schengen zone. The deal is contingent on Turkey meeting 72 conditions on various issues, including the loosening of its anti-terror laws, which have been used to attack journalists and opposition media.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to change the anti-terror law, saying:
"When Turkey is under attack from terrorist organizations and the powers that support them directly, or indirectly, the EU is telling us to change the law on terrorism. They say 'I am going to abolish visas and this is the condition.' I am sorry, we are going our way and you go yours."
The latest ruling by the asylum judges in Greece will be further pressure on the European Union to rethink its deal with Turkey, which many see as immoral, if not illegal.