Will Turkey abandon the refugee deal and risk losing a bonanza of money?

Erdogan-Juncker-Tusk

Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey (from left to right) © European Union , 2016 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Etienne Ansotte Date: 04/09/2016 Location: Hangzhou

Last week Turkey threatened Europe to reinstate capital punishment and to drop the EU-Turkey pact which was signed one year ago. The desperate need of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to gain more power has forced Turkish officials to release accusations to Europe and especially to the Netherlands, Germany and Brussels in view of the upcoming referendum in April 16.

However, the financial aid that Europe is providing to Turkey is not at all negligible and Erdogan must be very careful before unleashing thousands of refugees to Europe.

Turkish threats

Last Friday the Interior Minister of Turkey Suleyman Soylu mentioned that his country will dump the migration deal with the EU in retaliation of the fact that several EU countries are not letting Turkish officials carry out rallies and convince the Turkish people who live in Europe to vote “yes” in the constitutional referendum. More specifically, Suleyman Soylu said that: “If you want, we could open the way for 15,000 refugees that we don’t send each month and blow the mind.”

Furthermore, Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised last Saturday that he will reinstate capital punishment after April’s referendum. Particularly, the Turkish President stated: “I believe, God willing, that after the 16 April vote, parliament will do the necessary concerning your demands for capital punishment”. However, Erdogan had again threatened to reintroduce death penalty after the end of the failed coup of July 15.

EU’s response

The foreign minister of the largest economy in the EU though didn’t let these threats unanswered. Sigmar Gabriel characterised Erdogan’s comments as ridiculous and urged the EU not to respond to such provocative threats. In detail, the German Foreign Minister stated last Saturday in an interview with the German Der Spiegel: “He (Erdogan) needs an enemy for his election campaign: Turkey humiliated and the West arrogant. What has been said these last few weeks is so ludicrous and absurd that it is difficult to continue to listen to them.”

The EU-Turkey relations have been tensed after the Netherlands and Germany didn’t allow Turkish ministers from holding rallies in their counties in an attempt to persuade Turks to vote in favor of the referendum. If the result is “yes”, then Turkey will be changed from a parliamentary system to an executive presidency, giving Erdogan extreme power and control to appoint ministers, choose senior judges and dismiss parliament. Consequently, the Turkish president will do whatever is possible to secure a clear victory.

Commission believes in the pact

The President of the European Commission is confident that Turkey will not ditch the migration agreement with the EU and believes that most of the Turkish people living in the EU are not supporting the Turkish President. Specifically, Jean-Claude Juncker mentioned:  “Not all Turks are little Erdogans. I absolutely don’t have a problem with the millions Turks living in our part of Europe. They are well-integrated and contribute to prosperity. Turkey will not terminate this agreement, even if Erdogan has repeatedly threatened me with this.”

However, the Turkish Minister for EU affairs is not having the same view as the EC president. Omer Celik said that the migration deal is volatile as the EU has not been complying with the pre-agreed. Mr Celik said to Reuters on the issue that: “It has emerged that the EU has not kept its word. Turkey does not have any obligation to the other side concerning the implementation of this deal. Hence it can reassess it when it wants and in the way it wants. I think the time has come to review it.”

Turkey needs the EU money

The EU has committed to provide to Turkey, apart from visa liberalization for Turkish citizens and continuation of EU accession talks, financial aid of three billion euros to assist refugees and improve border controls. The latter was a very strong motive for Turkey, which has already received half of the aforementioned amount according to Jane Lewis, Ankara’s head of office for ECHO, the EU’s emergency aid department, to sign the migration agreement.

Refugees’ allocation in the Turkish society is vital and it can be achieved via access to education, health care and labor markets. Turkey though has to spend a great amount of money in order to implement it and one of the easiest ways is to use EU funds. Therefore, it is hard to imagine Turkey abandoning the refugee deal and risk losing all this financial supply.

Empty threats

All in all, it seems that Turkey is not willing to leave from the pact even if has threatened to do so several times in the past. It is most likely a political game that Erdogan is attempting to play with the EU in order to win more votes and become more familiar to its citizens showing that Europe is the “bad” partner which is not complying with the terms of the agreement.

Thus, it is easier for the Turkish President to request and negotiate for further financial support, visa liberations for its citizens and restart of EU accession talks. However, Europe does not seem to be falling for it and is holding a hard stance.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

YOUTH RIGHTS AT RISK FROM RISE OF EXTREME-RIGHT AND POPULISTS IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Trump: Hostile to Europe, voids Tillerson’s “ironclad” ally pledge

Draghi’s 2018 compromise: enough money printing to revive inflation and check euro ascent

EU job-search aid worth €9.9m for 1,858 former Air France workers

Over 820 million people suffering from hunger; new UN report reveals stubborn realities of ‘immense’ global challenge

How to give start-ups a head-start

‘12 million’ stateless people globally, warns UNHCR chief in call to States for decisive action

How tech can help businesses balance profit and purpose

“We need to use the momentum globally to ensure that corporations pay their fare share of taxation”, EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis outlines from the World Economic Forum 2017.

Traditional knowledge at ‘core’ of indigenous heritage, and ‘must be protected’, says UN Forum

May led Britain to chaos, now looks for way out with unpredictable DUP

Financial support for workers affected by no-deal Brexit

Yemen parties underscore ‘strong desire’ for peace, UN Envoy reports

As inequality grows, the UN fights for a fairer world

EU–US: What is the real exchange in a Free Trade Agreement?

Italy’s populist government appears determined to drive EU economy and markets into recession

Time to say goodbye to the plastic straw. But what’s the best alternative?

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

We’re facing a ‘cold crunch,’ and it’s nothing to do with the polar vortex

Implementation of tax transparency initiative delivering concrete and impressive results

The smartest cyber investment is collective action. Here’s why

Bolivia crisis: UN chief sends envoy to support peace, amidst renewed clashes

A Sting Exclusive: “The challenge of Society’s digital transformation”, Spanish Minister of Spain for Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria live from European Business Summit 2015

Can we measure the temperature of human cells? A young scientist explains

UN chief hails ‘positive developments’ towards ending political crisis in Bolivia

UN condemns deadly attack against G5 Sahel force headquarters in Mali

Brexit preparedness: EU completes preparations for possible “no-deal” scenario on 12 April

The Chinese retail revolution is heading west

Improvements to pension systems have made them better placed to deliver pensions

UN food agency begins ‘last resort’ partial withdrawal of aid to opposition-held Yemeni capital

Spring 2019 Economic Forecast: Growth continues at a more moderate pace

Ukraine takes EU money and runs to sign with Russia

Embracing the diversity in a multicultural city of Romania

From philanthropy to profit: how clean energy is kickstarting sustainable development in East Africa

Pollution could be harming every part of your body. Here’s how

Millennials (and Gen X) – Here are the steps you should take to secure your financial future

World Television Day celebrates an integral part of modern life

GSMA announces new keynote speakers for 2018 Mobile World Congress

Dignified and non-discriminatory heath care: does anyone even know what it means?

All talk but no action against fraudulent bankers

Family-friendly policies benefit all of us. Here are 4 ways to boost them

Reality Shock

Brussels wins game and match in Ukraine no matter the electoral results

Refugee crisis update: Commission is struggling alone with little help from EU or G7 leaders

Banks can fight financial crime. But we can’t do it alone

Africa is ‘on the rise’, says UN chief Guterres, urging collaboration for better future

Making the move to more sustainable mobility – three steps for companies

UN expert calls for international investigation into ‘evident murder’ of Jamal Khashoggi

5 reasons why reading books is good for you

Where America’s refugees came from in 2018

ECB describes in detail how it exploits the poor

OECD tells Eurozone to prepare its banks for a tsunami coming from developing countries

This one small change could transform education for millions

Greece bailout programme: Full agreement after marathon negotiations on debt relief between IMF and Eurozone

Britain in and out of the EU

Young and unemployed the perfect victims of ‘vultures’

The West definitively cuts Russia off from the developed world

Armed insurgency in north-east Nigeria ‘has created a humanitarian tragedy’

Is 2019 the beginning of the end for coal in Europe?

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