Tuesday

24th Oct 2017

Pay up on migrant deal, Turkey tells EU

  • Erdogan (l) has accused EU governments of being dishonest (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told the EU to pay its dues if it wants to keep a migrant deal with Ankara intact.

Speaking to German ARD television on Monday (25 July), Erdogan said the EU had promised €3 billion in aid to help improve living conditions of the some 3 million Syrian refugee it hosts.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • The EU-Turkey deal has seen irregular crossings to Greece drop from thousands a day to fewer than 100 (Photo: europarl.europa.eu)

“Ask them [the EU]. Did you pay? But Turkey still hosts 3 million people. What would Europe do if we let these people go to Europe?”, he said.

"The [European] governments are not honest”, he added.

Erdogan estimated that Turkey has spent some $12 billion (€10.9 billion) to help refugees since the start of the five-year civil war in Syria.

Turkey agreed with the EU in March to prevent people from leaving to seek international protection in Greece.

In return, the EU agreed to speed up accession talks and lift short term visas for Turks, among other incentives.

Thousands of people were landing on the Greek islands on a daily basis at the height of the crisis last year.

Those figures have since dropped to double digits although reports are emerging of a small spike since the failed coup in Turkey earlier this month.

The European Commission's chief spokesperson last week said that the visa and migrant deals with Turkey remained unchanged despite the developments.

Erdogan also said Ankara would keep its end of the bargain.

"I want to say one thing quite clearly: On the refugee issue, we will stand behind our promises,” he told ARD.

Erdogan's comments follow the 15 July coup attempt and a subsequent purge that has seen thousands of teachers, judges, prosecutors, military and other civil servants dismissed or detained.

Arrest warrants for 42 journalists have been issued and over 220 employees of the state-owned national carrier Turkish Airlines have also been dismissed.

Turkey's government says the coup was organised by followers of the US based Fetullah Gulen.

Gulen, who has been exiled in the US since 1991, has denied any involvement.

"Mr Erdogan’s accusation is no surprise, not for what it says about me but rather for what it reveals about his systematic and dangerous drive toward one-man rule," said Gulen in an op-ed in the New York Times on Monday.

Erdogan has also threatened to reintroduce the death penalty in the wake of the coup.

In reaction, EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker threatened to stop all negotiations for Turkey's accession to the EU should Ankara install capital punishment.

"I believe that Turkey, in its current state, is not in a position to become a member any time soon and not even over a longer period," he told French television France 2 also on Monday.

EU seeks to shut down Libya sea route

EU leaders are aiming to reach a consensus on the Dublin asylum reforms by early next year, announced European Council chief Donald Tusk. But first, they want to shut down the Central Mediterranean route from Libya.

MEPs: EU migrant quotas do have a future

The EU Parliament's lead negotiator on the Dublin rule, a key asylum regulation that has sparked a political clash among EU states, is now demanding for an automatic and permanent relocation scheme.

Nepal units arrive in Libya to guard UN refugee agency

The UN is sending guards to Libya to provide security for staff working with the UN refugee agency and other UN missions inside compound premises in Tripoli. The agency's work in Libya is broadly funded by the EU.

MEPs: EU migrant quotas do have a future

The EU Parliament's lead negotiator on the Dublin rule, a key asylum regulation that has sparked a political clash among EU states, is now demanding for an automatic and permanent relocation scheme.

News in Brief

  1. Tusk: It's up to London to have a good Brexit deal
  2. Bettel wants more ministerial meetings on digital
  3. Austria's Kurz to open coalition talks with far-right
  4. Estonia: Finalising digital market before 2019 'do-able'
  5. Don't let City of London 'drift away', Luxembourg warns
  6. Far-right enters German parliament officially
  7. Orban declares migrant-free zone in Eastern Europe
  8. Madrid set to use force to stop Catalonia independence

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. A Soul for EuropeWho Assumes Responsibility for Europe?' Conference on 10-11 November in Berlin.
  2. Martens CentreI Say Europe, You Say...? Interview With EU Commission VP Jyrki Katainen
  3. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Jinping Proposes Stronger Global Security Governance at Interpol Assembly
  4. European Friends of ArmeniaEU Engagement Could Contribute to Lasting Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  5. UNICEFViolence in Myanmar Driving 12,000 Rohingya Refugee Children Into Bangladesh Every Week
  6. European Jewish CongressBulgaria Applauded for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  7. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  8. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  10. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  11. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  12. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!