Erdogan threatens to bus 1000s of refugees into Europe unless (accession/funds) demands met


Refugees crossing to freedom?

A document – see four images below – suggests that Turkey threatened to bus into the European Union thousands more refugees from war zones unless the EU met Turkey’s demands for visa-free roaming (and accession) to the EU. The document demonstrates how politics is the main driver in the way Turkey ‘manages’ the refugee crisis, with the refugees mere pawns in a greater political chess-game. The document – a memorandum that purports to have been released by – concerns a meeting between Turkey and EU officials, including the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, at which Turkish president Tayip Erdogan threatened that if the EU did not link the refugee issue with Turkey’s accession negotiations, Turkey would “open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria and put the refugees on buses”. Juncker tells Erdogan that ‘visa-free’ deal for Turks will not happen if Schengen collapses. (As for the 3 billion euros that, consequently, have been given to Turkey by the EU, Erdogan’s original demand – which could still be met – is for 3 billion euros per year.)

(Note: according to Reuters, the meeting referred to in the memo, reproduced below, took place in November last year; also that the EC would neither confirm nor deny the correctness of the memo – which probably means it is accurate at least in its substance. UPDATE: Peter Spiegel in the FT has since reported on a Tusk-Erdogan leak too.)






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15 Responses to Erdogan threatens to bus 1000s of refugees into Europe unless (accession/funds) demands met

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