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.

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

DR Congo: UN food agency triples aid in strife-hit Ituri province

Thailand gave healthcare to its entire population and the results were dramatic

A world first: Women at the helm of every UN Regional Commission

PM May fosters chauvinism, declares trade war on Europe

Berlin wants to break South’s politico-economic standing

Prevention is key to ‘breaking the cycle of HIV transmission’, UN chief tells General Assembly

China-EU Relations: Broader, Higher and Stronger

This simple digital solution could streamline global travel and boost trade during COVID – here’s how

If airlines were a country they’d be one of the world’s top 10 greenhouse gas emitters

Smart city experts should be looking to emerging markets. Here’s why

Coronavirus: MEPs call for solidarity among EU member states

Remain united for Syrians, UN envoy de Mistura urges Security Council

Health equity and accessibility for migrants is a peremptory demand

Empathic AI could be the next stage in human evolution – if we get it right

The Working Methods of the von der Leyen Commission: Striving for more at home and in the world

Parliament demands ban on neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups in the EU

These cities have the best quality of life

European Commission calls on national political parties to join efforts to ensure free and fair elections in Europe

Climate change: Another year of record gas emissions, warns UN meteorological agency

Deadlock broken, South Sudan on road to ‘sustainable peace’, but international support still key

I cycled over 6,000km across the United States to document climate change. Here’s what I learned

ITU Telecom World 2016: it’s all about working together

New UN bullying report calls for ‘safe, inclusive’ schools for all children

It’s getting harder to move data abroad. Here’s why it matters and what we can do

Do the giant banks ‘tell’ Britain to choose a good soft Brexit and ‘remain’ or else…?

We can’t tell if we’re closing the digital divide without more data

Global Talent – Professional Internships

Nitrate pollution of water sources: new impulses for EU Water Policy?

We need to give voice to ‘We the Peoples’, says UN chief

1 in 7 people would choose not to fly because of climate change

‘Don’t forget Madagascar’s children’, UN appeals for long-term help as emergency worsens

Public Policies for LGBT in Brazil

A digital tax sounds like a great idea. Here’s why it might not be universally popular

The financial crisis always prefers the south of Eurozone

Rule of Law: The Commission opens a debate to strengthen the rule of law in the EU

Who is responsible for public health? The tendencies and its benefits –or not– on Health Education around the world

A new leadership agenda for private equity

The UN has a 17-point plan to save the world. So how’s it doing?

UN chief and senior officials show solidarity with DR Congo during three-day visit

Parliament commemorates the victims of the Holocaust

Developing countries should not be liable for emissions ‘accumulated throughout history’, key UN development forum hears

How a bionic arm is helping one little girl enjoy the things most take for granted

These are the countries that have made their climate commitments law

‘Shared responsibility’ to stop 420,000 needless deaths from tainted food each year, UN, world leaders warn

Memoirs from a unique trip to China: “my new old dragon” (Part I)

Member states jeopardising the rule of law will risk losing EU funds

Coronavirus: the truth against the myths: Lockdown by a novel coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV

Parental leave: why we can’t wait a century for equal rights for women

Multiprofessional action against the indiscriminate use of antibiotics

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Harvested’ rainwater saves Tanzanian students from stomach ulcers, typhoid

Why AI will make healthcare personal

EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: third annual report shows continued vital and tangible support for refugees and their host communities

The European Parliament floating over the South China Sea

Humanitarian Aid 2016: The needs, the highlights, the crisis and the relief

Aung San Suu Kyi suspended from the Sakharov Prize Community

COVID-19: A coordinated EU health strategy needed, say MEPs

Syria: Why did the US now take the Russian offer for a truce? What next?

4 fixes for equipment supply chains before the next COVID-19 waves hit

More Stings?

Advertising

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