Is it just visa-free travel that Erdogan demands from the EU to not break the migration deal?

From left to right: Mr Donald TUSK, President of the European Council; Mr Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN, Turkish President. Location: Istanbul - TURKEY. Date: 04/03/2016. Source: EC – Audiovisual Service. © European Union, 2016.

From left to right: Mr Donald TUSK, President of the European Council; Mr Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN, Turkish President.
Location: Istanbul – TURKEY. Date: 04/03/2016. Source: EC – Audiovisual Service.
© European Union, 2016.

Last Monday Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, mentioned in the German newspaper Bild that Turkey is most likely to step out of the refugee deal signed with the EU last March unless the latter provides to the Turks visa-free travel to the bloc in October.

These comments come only a few days after the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had repeated to Germany’s RTL television Turkey’s strong position. It seems that all these warnings are going to be intensified till October in an attempt to convince the Old Continent that Turkey deserves something in return for halting the migrant flow to the EU.

However, the main practical issue of fulfilling the remaining five EU requirements in order to be granted visa-free travel still exists while Turkey reveals its unwillingness to materiaze any of them.

Turkish warnings

There has been a remarkable increase of Turkish statements demanding visa deliberations short after the failed coup attempt on July 15. Several governmental officials such as Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik and Mevlut Cavusoglu together with the president of Turkey have continuously warned the EU to grant them visa-free travel in order to not put a bitter end to the EU-Turkey refugee agreement.

Specifically, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already made three similar statements on the issue during this month. In his last one on August 12, Erdogan says: “The visa liberalization and readmission are very important. The process is currently ongoing. Unfortunately, Europe has failed to keep its promise on the issue. We want to take steps simultaneously. If (the visa waiver) happens, fine. If not, I’m sorry but we’ll stop the readmissions.”

Data protection and anti-terror laws

Turkey has not yet met its 72 requirements required to provide to the Turks with visa-free travel to the Schengen zone. The Commission Spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said last Tuesday that Turkey has not fulfilled five conditions regarding its data protection and anti-terror laws, which can deal with the plaguing terrorism menace more successfully.

The EU basically wants Turkey to modify its definition of terrorism in order to avoid potential crackdowns on journalists and to ensure fair trials and freedom of speech. Natasha Bertaud mentioned explicitly on the issue: “The reason we have this benchmark is because we want our partners and neighbors to fight terrorism effectively. What we are asking is that there is an element of proportionality introduced into the definition of terrorism currently under Turkish legislation”.

Is the EU ready to deal with Turkish threats?

The migration crisis has caused immense problems to Europe during 2015 putting the bloc’s unity and Schengen’s agreement at risk. The influx of migrants has been stemmed after the EU signed the one-to-one agreement with Turkey. But what if Turkey breaks the deal?

Europe does not seem to have any plan except for the one to keep on improving its relations with Turkey. The latter is understood also by the words of the German Finance Minister who said that it is crucial to continue cooperating with the Turkish President to secure his aid in coping with the refugee crisis. Wolfgang Schaeuble stressed out during an event at the northern German city of Rostock: “I absolutely don’t like what Erdogan is doing, but I don’t agree that … we should end cooperation with him. It is in our own interest to keep working together.”

On the other hand, Austria argues that the EU does not need Turkey to deal with the migration crisis but a “real Plan A”. The Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz told last Monday Focus Online: “We must not give in to blackmail and therefore do not need a plan B. We at last need a proper plan A”. This proper plan A requires though a unification of all EU member states in order to tackle migration efficiently; a condition that has terribly failed to be implemented in the past.

Europe convenes to discuss its problems

Donald Tusk will meet all EU leaders to discuss about the handling and substance of the informal meeting of the 27 member states in Bratislava on September 16. The president of the European Council begins by having a working dinner today with German Chancellor Angela Merkel where both the EU-Turkey migration deal and Brexit are most likely to be on the main agenda.

All in all, there is not much time left for the EU if Turkey indeed quits the refugee agreement next October. Europe’s top priority now remains the migration crisis with the EU leaders to be asked to bring to the table practical solutions.

What Erdogan really wants

Politics are structured based on opportunities and events that come up but those events per se are rarely the main reason for any dispute. Instead the main reason is well pre-existing and describes the political goal of the politician. In the case of Erdogan in the post coup era he thinks he has to prove to the world how strong he is and how stable Turkey is by achieving something great. However, getting the Visa-free status from the EU while not doing anything about the preconditions set, is not just a great accomplishment but rather an impossible one.

In reality, Erdogan could not care less at this moment about whether his citizens get an extra stamp on their passport or not, when travelling to the EU. Demanding the impossible from the EU means that he seeks collision with the bloc, and he seeks it right now. His sultanate does not fit with any of the EU ideals anyway and it possibly never will.  He aspires now Turkey to have a clearly separate road from the EU but at the same time the whole world to pay and invest on him for any issue where Turkey can capitalise its geopolitical advantage, e.g. the migration crisis, the fight against ISIS, you name it.

In the West, though, we do things a bit differently. The moment someone thinks he has too much power in an organisation or any construct, he is bound to be replaced immediately or he is badly sued and fined. Having said that, Erdogan is bound not to have it his way this time, the EU-Turkey deal will most likely come to a bitter end this autumn and the EU will have no option but to make a huge mistake, give the billions granted to Turkey to its natural biggest competitor, NATO and co.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

China is among the 20 most innovative economies for the first time

Eurozone needs more than some decimals of growth

This forgotten chemical element could be the key to our green energy future

Joint U.S.-EU Statement following President Juncker’s visit to the White House

Thai citizenship means ‘dream of a brighter future’ for cave rescue boys, says UN Refugee Agency

Trump rejects Europe’s offer for zero car tariffs; he had personally tabled that idea in July

Eurozone: Bank resolution proposal gains wider interest

MWC 2016 LIVE: CEOs issue rallying call to drive ‘gigabit economy’

A renewed agenda for Research and Innovation: Europe’s chance to shape the future

EU and US close to an agreement on data sharing amid European citizens’ concerns

We lack a global framework for saving our environment. Here’s how we change that

Driving structural change through global value chains integration

EU summit: No energy against tax evasion and fraud

10 things Europe does better than the rest of the world

One Day in Beijing

Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

TTIP’s 11th round major takeaways and the usual “leaked” document

EU Summit/Migration: Parliament calls for joint solutions based on solidarity

German and French bankers looted the Irish and Spanish unemployed

6 ways to ensure AI and new tech works for – not against – humanity

Why Italy will not follow the Greek road; Eurozone to change or unravel

UN chemical weapons watchdog adds new powers to assign blame, following attacks

Backed by UN agency, countries set to take on deadly livestock-killing disease

Why sustainable products are a win-win for all of us

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

How close is the new financial Armageddon? IMF gives some hints

Obama turns the G20 summit into warmongering platform

The role of junior entrepreneurs as a bridge between academia and business world

UN agriculture agency digs in to help forests and farms build resilience to climate change

Education and Training: where do we stand in 2014?

Germany and France only care about keeping their borrowing cheap

Assault on key Yemeni port would endanger 300,000 children and ‘choke off’ aid for millions more: UNICEF chief

Knowledge management and entrepreneurship: short term vs. long term perspective

Scotland in United Kingdom: It’s either the end or the beginning of the end

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Carbon Price Needed for Climate Change Success

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

Presentation of Juncker’s Investment Plan: Can 315 billion euros save the EU?

More answers from Facebook ahead of Parliament hearing today

Press conference by EC Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis (left) and Jyrki Katainen, on the Commission's proposals in the framework of the financial union (Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: EU, 2018 / Photo by Georges Boulougouris)

EU Finance ministers agree on new banking capital rules and move closer to Banking Union

A critical European young voice on Net Neutrality: the distance between Brussels and Washington

FROM THE FIELD: Sailing a traditional and sustainable path in Fiji’s tropical waters

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change-the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, yet overlooked in climate negotiations?” IFMSA wonders from COP21 in Paris

Cultural diversity can drive economies. Here are lessons from India and South Asia

A few, or rather two, trade and economic alliances may rule our brave new world

World Population Day: ‘A matter of human rights’ says UN

MWC 2016 LIVE: EC adds Brazil to partner tally

At Ministerial session, UN regional office in Beirut to focus on technology for sustainable development

This robot has soft hands. It could be the future of sustainable production

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

Eurozone recession subsides

Use space technology to build a better world for all, urges UN chief

The European Brain Drain: a truth or a myth?

EU seeks foreign support on 5G from Mobile World Congress 2015 as the “digital gold rush” begins

ILO: Progress on gender equality at work remains inadequate

Sub10 Systems @ MWC14: Bridging the Ethernet of the Future

How Germany strives to mold ECB’s monetary policy to her interests

Three scenarios for the future of geopolitics

‘No steps taken’ so far to end Israel’s illegal settlement activity on Palestinian land – UN envoy

Trade, entrepreneurship and the future of ASEAN’s economy

Czech Babis, Austrian Kurz and others threaten Europe with nationalist populism

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s