Critical visit from the EU before the refugee Summit
European Council President Tusk arrived in Ankara ahead of the EU-Turkey summit on 7 March, which European leaders saw as one of the last opportunities for a joint solution to the refugee crisis. While Tusk wanted more efforts from Turkey to stop the refugees, Ankara gave the message that it could not bear the burden of refugees on its own.
II. The European Union, which puts all its hopes on Turkey to stop the biggest refugee influx that Europe has faced since World War II, is making a visit after visit to Ankara. Ankara, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel, EU High Representative for Foreign Relations and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and EU commissioners have made successive removals in recent months, was at the European Council yesterday.It hosted President Donald Tusk. Tusk, who went to Turkey from Athens on the last leg of his Balkan tour to discuss the refugee crisis, met with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. During the visit, which took place before the critical EU-Turkey summit to be held in Brussels on 7 March, the President of the European Council gave the message that the joint action plan signed with Turkey in November in order to find a solution to the refugees continues to be a priority for them.
He stated that they expect more efforts to prevent the migration of refugees from Turkey to Europe. During the talks, the European side promised to take more legal refugees from Turkey if the influx of migrants is curbed. However, Ankara did not take kindly to linking the refugee intake to illegal asylum seeker traffic in the Aegean.
Brussels’ It requested assistance and legal acceptance for asylum seekers in accordance with the refugee agreement. He asked Brussels to quickly send 3 billion Euros of financial aid in accordance with the agreement, and to fulfill the conditions for visa-free European travel for Turkish citizens and the opening of new chapters.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said at the press conference he held with Tusk, President of the European Council, that he met at the Çankaya Mansion, that Turkey is loyal to the Joint Action Plan reached with the EU on the refugee crisis, and that it will fulfill its requirements without exception.
The Turkish side conveyed to the Brussels delegation that the border security in Syria and the Aegean was increased in accordance with the Joint Action Plan. It was reminded that the return process for immigrants who entered Europe illegally has begun. It was pointed out that despite the increased measures at the borders and coasts, the refugee traffic could not be stopped at once.
While the EU is still debating over 3 billion euros in aid, Ankara considers this amount too insufficient. Chief Advisor to the Prime Ministry, Murtaza Yetiş, stated that the list of needs they prepared in his presentation at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey the previous day exceeded this figure by 3-5 times. He also emphasized that EU funding is valid for 2022-2023, but longer-term support is needed on the ground.
LAST HOPE FOR THE EU
While more than 800,000 refugees reached Europe via Turkey last year, the figure exceeded 120,000 in the first two months of the new year. It has been connected to the meeting among themselves on November 18-19. These two meetings are seen as the last chance for a joint response to the crisis before the number of refugees increases as the weather warms up.
Seven countries in Europe started border controls in the Schengen area, where passport-free travel is made. Many countries also announced that they will start border controls unilaterally if the agreement with Turkey before the two summits does not produce tangible results. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said last week: “We no longer have a policy. We are moving towards anarchy.” he said.
Protest by train from migrants to Macedonia
Immigrants, who tried to cross the Greek border to Macedonia with a rebellion in the past days, showed their reactions to the Skopje administration, which blocked the migration route, with a different method yesterday. A group of refugees blocked the tracks by lying in front of a freight train from Macedonia. Refugees, who complained that the Macedonian police, which allows a limited number of immigrants to pass every day, sent them back under various excuses, did not pass the train, which wanted to continue on its way in the south direction for a while. There are around ten thousand refugees in the Idomeni border region.