x

Greece

Turkey Says Greece, EU Must Stop Stringing It along on Migrant Deal

March 10, 2020

ANKARA — The European Union should stop “stringing Turkey along” over helping out with the millions of migrants on its territory, the country’s foreign minister said Tuesday, a day after the two sides agreed to review a 4-year-old deal aimed at stemming refugee flows to Europe.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the EU must take “sincere” steps to help Turkey manage the flow of migrants, including finding ways to ensure Syrian refugees can return home.

The minister spoke a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a meeting with top EU officials in Brussels. The two sides agreed to review their 2016 deal on migrants.

The meeting was called after thousands of migrants massed on Turkey’s border with Greece, following the Turkish government’s decision to open its borders to migrants wanting to cross into Europe. Greece has deployed riot police and border guards to prevent the crossings, sparking clashes between migrants and Greek security forces.

Erdogan has demanded that Europe shoulder more of the burden of caring for Syrian refugees on Turkish territory — thought to number more than 3.5 million. Turkey is accusing the EU of not meeting its obligations under the 2016 agreement, including failing to pay money promised to Turkey to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.

Following the talks in Brussels late Monday, European Council President Charles Michel said teams headed by Cavusoglu and EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borell, would work “in the next days to clarify the implementation of the deal between Turkey and the EU to be certain that we are on the same page.”

“We are ready for a constructive study….We expect sincerity from the EU. The era of stringing Turkey along is over,” Cavusoglu told state-run Anadolu Agency.

Cavusoglu said the sides would work toward “updating” the Turkey-EU deal in line with recent developments, including the situation in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, where a Syrian government offensive has driven thousands of Syrians toward the border with Turkey.

The 2016 agreement is not “about the EU giving money to Turkey to keep the refugees,” Cavusoglu said. “It comprises several issues from visa-free travel to ensuring the voluntary return of refugees.”

The minister said the sides would try to draft a “road map” in time for a EU summit on March 26.

Erdogan, meanwhile, told a group of journalists on his return to Turkey that he is set to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Istanbul on March 17, state-run Anadolu Agency reported. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson may also attend.

Erdogan also said that during his talks with in Brussels, EU leaders acknowledged that Turkey had fulfilled its obligations under the 2016 agreement and the EU had “moved slowly” to meet its responsibilities.

“We could begin a new process with the EU,” Anadolu quoted Erdogan as saying.

Under the 2016 agreement, the EU offered Turkey up to 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in aid for the Syrian refugees it hosts, fast-tracked EU membership and other incentives to stop Europe-bound migrants. The number arriving in Greece from Turkey dropped dramatically after the deal took effect.

The EU insists it is disbursing the funds. It has also accusing Erdogan of “blackmail” for waving migrants through to Europe late last month after dozens of Turkish soldiers were killed in fighting in northern Syria.

Private Turkish broadcaster NTV aired footage Tuesday of Greek soldiers reinforcing a barbed wire fence along a stretch of a river that marks the land border between Turkey and Greece.

Many migrants who attempted to cross the border have reported mistreatment by Greek authorities. Greece has denied the accusations.

Erdogan alleged that several migrants have died and vowed to make Greece account for actions he said amount to “murder,” Anadolu reported.

RELATED

ATHENS - Champions for Life is the nonprofit created by the Legends 2004, as the former Greek national soccer team players who won the Euro 2004 championship are known.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Mitsotakis: Today’s Bill Comes to Define a New Field in Which Everyone Should Move

ATHENS - At the end of August 2022, I announced a legislative initative for the upgrading and modernisation of the protection, the operation of the security agencies and the operation of the communications and after the change in National Intelligence Service's (EYP) leadership and the establishment of double check to the legal intrusions," stated Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressing the parliament on Thursday during the debate on Justice Minstry's bill on the lifting of the communications confidentiality, cybersecurity and protection of the citizens' personal data.

The Greek Americans travelled to Roosevelt Island Thursday December 8th to face Zum Schneider in game 9 of the EPSL.

Asteras Tripolis New York literally fought to the very end, but fell short at Randall’s Island against Cosmopolitan’s League NY International with a 3-2 loss for the Flamhaft Cup round of 16.

Croatia knocked Brazil out of the World Cup on Friday, beating the five-time champions 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the semifinals for the second straight time.

ATHENS - Greek annual inflation rate slowed to 8.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.