GREECE, Greece — A Greek court on Wednesday imposed a ban on Turkish citizens and foreigners coming to Greece after an investigation found the country’s immigration authorities used improper methods to check the backgrounds of visitors.
Greece’s interior ministry on Wednesday said in a statement that the ban was intended to safeguard national security.
Turkey, which has an estimated 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Greece, has been a major transit country for people seeking asylum in Europe.
The ban was imposed in response to a report by the United Nations refugee agency that said Greece was not conducting adequate checks on its nationals seeking asylum.
The government said the ruling would affect visa-free travel for Turkish citizens.
Greek officials said they were not ruling out an appeal.
Turkey is a close ally of Greece’s ruling conservative New Democracy party and the ruling Social Democrats.
The Greek government has struggled to contain the refugee crisis, which is expected to surge in the coming weeks as Europe’s economy falls into recession.