Refugee returns to Turkey total 16 in December, lowest on record

Returns of refugees from Greece to Turkey slumped to the lowest on record in December, according to data provided by the UNHCR, the United Nation's refugee agency.

Just 16 refugees were returned last month, the lowest number since registrations were recorded in September 2016, when the total was 578, the UN said in a report on Wednesday. Since then, returns have exceeded 100 in just two months in total -- in October 2016 and April 2017, the figures showed.

The vast majority of those returned were nationals from countries other than Syria, the UN said. The largest group were Pakistanis, constituting 42 percent of total. Syrians made up 15 percent,  followed by Algerians, Bangladeshis and Afghans.

In total, 228 Syrians have been returned to Turkey to date. Five were returned after their asylum claims were found inadmissible at 2nd instance.

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