EurActiv — Migration flows from Turkey to Greece have intensified since the failed coup attempt in Ankara, according to official Greek data.
But the European Commission on Thursday insisted that the numbers of refugees attempting the perilous crossing of the Aegean is continuing to drop.
The EU-Turkey refugee deal agreed in March has significantly reduced migration flows into Greece.
Under the terms of the deal, Turkey accepts Syrian and other refugees back from Greece in return for aid and accelerated talks on EU membership.
Since the failed 15 July coup attempt, increased numbers of new arrivals have been recorded from across the Aegean Sea in the last ten days, The average rate has increased to 90 people a day, compared to 30 before the attempted putsch according to Greek coastguard sources.
“It seems that the routes have re-opened, so the chasing game has started again,” sources said.
The island of Lesvos is currently hosting 3,495 migrants and refugees, Chios 2,509, and Samos 1,030.
Reports in Athens suggest that it is the first time since the EU-Turkey migrant deal that the number of refugees has exceeded 7,000 in the North Aegean Sea alone.
A source told EurActiv.com that this trend could be because many refugees feel insecure with the situation in Turkey and want to flee the country.
The same source added that another possible scenario could be that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to send a political message to Brussels, particularly since a recent dispute over the implementation of the EU-Turkey refugee deal.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday accused the EU of not paying its way under a deal to send Syrian refugees back across the Aegean.