It is a decision with a strong symbolic and practical meaning: The appeals committee responsible for processing complaints of migrants and refugees granted the request of a Syrian refugee who contested his compulsory return to Turkey after arriving in Lesbos in March.
The Syrian was initially denied asylum, and was forced to go back to Turkey. The most interesting thing to point out is that the Board of Appeal made clear that Turkey cannot be considered a “safe third country,” and therefore the asylum application will be examined again with more data and details.
The proceedings will certainly take time, but the message from the board could have far wider repercussions. If Turkey is considered an unsafe country, it could lead to a challenge — at least in principle — of the European Union’s agreement with Ankara as a whole, taking into account that the rights and living conditions of refugees must be an absolute priority.