Greek coastguard officials are said to be worried that human traffickers in Turkey are stepping up sending rubber dinghies and other boats full of migrants and refugees to the Greek islands.
National Intelligence Service agents are trying to determine whether the smuggling networks Turkey lets operate in a largely suspended exchange deal in 2016 with the European Union are changing their pattern.
There are also fears that another influx of Afghan refugees fleeing the deadly Taliban takeover will flood Greece and seek asylum, with the country already hosting some 100,000 refugees and migrants from Turkey after fleeing war, conflict and asylum. economic difficulties in their countries of origin.
Between August 28 and August 30, three ships – sailboats and yachts – were stranded with a total of more than 200 migrants on board in the Aegean Sea, where five islands near the Turkish coast are home to thousands of refugees and migrants.
Two of the ships were intercepted near the island of Kythera and the third off Milos, said Kathimerini, who reported that 15 other boats sent from Turkey – which is not sanctioned by the EU – were able to reach Italy, another destination for refugees and migrants.
Earlier this summer, Greece’s maritime transport ministry sent a letter to the European Commission alerting the EU to the danger of a shipping accident, as Greece wants to pressure Turkey to prevent smugglers from operating.