austria slovenia migrants.jpg
Photograph: EPA/CHRISTIAN BRUNA

Local authorities in the western Turkish town of Dikili are not ready to accommodate the hundreds of refugees expected to arrive on Monday under an EU-Turkey migration deal, the town's mayor said Sunday.

"I myself as mayor have received no information at all from the responsible parties in Ankara regarding the migrants," Mustafa Tosun told dpa.

Tosun added he did not know if and how many migrants are due to arrive in Dikili on Monday, nor where they will be accommodated.

Under a deal struck between the EU and Turkey last month, migrants in Greece who do not apply for asylum or fail to qualify will be returned to Turkey starting Monday. In return, Syrian refugees will be directly taken from Turkey and resettled in Europe.

Mobile phone photos received by dpa showed an empty, grassy field at the site in Dikili where the new arrivals were meant to be accommodated.

The Turkish prime minister's office refused to answer questions posed by dpa on the government's preparedness to receive the returnees.

According to Greek staff handling the refugee crisis, there were more than 52,500 refugees and other migrants stranded in Greece as of Saturday. Countries further north along the so-called Balkan route to northern and western Europe closed their borders to people without valid documents.

Migrants likely to be sent back to Turkey have protested, denouncing the returns as "deportations." Hundreds of them broke out of a camp on Chios on Friday and were camped out in the island's main port on Sunday. They demanded to be taken to the mainland of Greece and not back to Turkey.

A total of 514 migrants arrived on the Greek Aegean islands from Turkey in the 24 hours to Sunday morning, officials said.

On Saturday, the figure was 566 migrants, on Friday 339 and on Thursday 377, the Greek department dealing with the refugee crisis said.

Latest news

White House bars major news outlets from press briefing

The New York Times, CNN and Politico were among the organizations blocked from Friday's so-called gaggle, or informal briefing, according to reporters from those outlets. Representatives of the Associated Press and Time magazine boycotted the meeting in a show of solidarity, according to the Times.

Report: German intelligence spied on BBC, other foreign journalists

Germany's intelligence agency monitored foreign journalists at the BBC, the New York Times and other news organizations from 1999 onwards across several countries, according to a Friday report from Der Spiegel magazine.

Classroom for Islamic religious education opened in Split

A classroom for Islamic religious education, whose equipment was financially assisted by city and county authorities, was opened in the coastal city of Split on Friday.

Ministry say no licences for export of military goods to Saudi Arabia issued in 2016

The Economy, Enterprise and Crafts Ministry on Friday issued a statement regarding media reports about export licences for military goods, stressing that in 2016 it did not issue any licences for the export of military goods to Saudi Arabia.

Croatia for preserving Bosnia's stability

Croatia on Friday supported the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), calling on its authorities to adopt decisions in institutions, after a request by BiH Presidency Bosniak member Bakir Izetbegovic to review a ruling which acquitted Serbia of genocide.

Mexico is not a migrant "waiting room" for US, interior minister says

Mexico will not accept undocumented immigrants from other countries whom the United States plans to deport, Mexico's interior minister said Friday.

Right-wing populist Wilders declines first Dutch election debate

Candidates from nine Dutch parties answered questions from journalists Friday at the first national radio debate of the election campaign, but the leading candidate

Bosnian Croat reps insist on channel airing programmes in Croatian

Being one of the constituent peoples, the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to a broadcaster that will air programmes in their native language, HNS BiH official Ivan Vukoja said at a news conference in Mostar on Friday.

Same-sex couples in Slovenia can marry

A Slovenian law allowing same-sex couples to marry went into force on Friday and the first civil registrar ceremony, between two women, is to take place in Maribor on Saturday, the town's Vecer daily said.

Moody's changes Agrokor's outlook to negative

The Moody's rating agency on Friday changed its outlook for the Agrokor food retailer from stable to negative, affirming its rating of B3.

Trump says he represents America, 'not the globe'

US President Donald Trump said Friday his aim is to serve the United States and not the rest of the world, doubling down on his "America First" message in wide-ranging remarks to a conservative conference.

Croat member of Bosnia's state presidency says crisis won't escalate

The Croat member of Bosnia and Herzegovina's collective State Presidency, Dragan Covic, said on Friday that the crisis caused by the unilateral submission of a request for a review of the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) genocide ruling from 2007 against Serbia would not escalate into an armed conflict.