Thursday, May 19, 2016

Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute: EU-Turkey Migrant Deal Unravels

EU-Turkey Migrant Deal Unravels

Plan B turns Greece into massive refugee camp

From the article:

On May 6, just one day after Davutoglu's resignation, Erdogan warned European leaders that Turkey would not be narrowing its definition of terrorism: "When Turkey is under attack from terrorist organizations and the powers that support them directly, or indirectly, the EU is telling us to change the law on terrorism," Erdogan said in Istanbul. "They say 'I am going to abolish visas and this is the condition.' I am sorry, we are going our way and you go yours."


European officials are now discussing a Plan B. On May 8, the German newspaper Bild reported on a confidential plan to house all migrants arriving from Turkey on Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. Public transportation to and from those islands to the Greek mainland would be cut off in order to prevent migrants from moving into other parts of the European Union.

Migrants would remain on the islands permanently while their asylum applications are being processed. Those whose asylum requests are denied would be deported back to their countries of origin or third countries deemed as "safe."


Ahead of a May 18 debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg over Turkey's progress in fulfilling requirements for visa liberalization, Burhan Kuzu, a senior adviser to Erdogan, warned the European Parliament that it had an "important choice" to make.

In a Twitter message, Kuzu wrote: "If they make the wrong decision, we will send the refugees." In a subsequent telephone interview with Bloomberg, he added: "If Turkey's doors are opened, Europe would be miserable."

Meanwhile, Erdogan has placed yet another obstacle in the way of EU-Turkey deal. He is now demanding that the EU immediately hand over three billion euros ($3.4 billion) promised under the deal so that Turkish authorities can spend it as they see fit.

The EU insists that the funds be transferred through the United Nations and other international aid agencies in accordance with strict rules on how the aid can be spent. That stance has prompted Erdogan to accuse the EU of "mocking the dignity" of the Turkish nation.