BERLIN/ATHENS/ANKARA (Own report) – Massive international protests are accompanying the start of EU mass deportations of refugees to Turkey. The first 750 refugees are due to be transported from the Greek islands to the Turkish coast between today, Monday, and Wednesday. More than 5,400 are being detained on the islands in EU “hotspots” to prevent them from escaping subsequent deportation measures. Several UN agencies have publicly criticized the EU measures – largely enforced by the German government – as being in violation of international law. Clinging to these measures of mass deportation, Berlin and Brussels are heading toward an open conflict with the United Nations. In protest, international aid organizations have suspended their activities in these detention “hotspots,” refusing to become complicit in the EU’s scheme. Protest by refugees is escalating on the islands and mainland of Greece. The government in Athens is expecting massive resistance to these mass deportations. However, to ensure successful deportations, Berlin has dispatched German personnel – members of the Federal Police and of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) – to the Greek islands. For the German government, these, under international law illegal measures, are of strategic importance.