New Warnings from Ankara

Refugee camp in Turkey-sedat suna-dpa
Turkey is currently hosting around 2.7 million refugees who have flown neigboring war-torn Syrian.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The European Union will need to come up with a solution to meet Turkey’s demand for visa-free entry to the economic bloc by the agreed June deadline.

  • Facts


    • Under the E.U.-Turkey agreement, all migrants arriving in Greece would be sent back to Turkey and one Syrian refugee would be resettled for each Syrian returned, up to a ceiling of 72,000.
    • The number of refugees setting off for Greece from Turkey in boats has dropped on average to about 60 a day.
    • Volker Schwenck, a journalist from the German public broadcaster ARD, was detained in the Istanbul airport and refused entry into Turkey.
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The refugee agreement between the European Union and Turkey is holding on by a thin string, as tensions mount on both sides.

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, appears determined to use the agreement to push through a key government demand for visa liberalization, in return for stemming the flow of Syrian refugees to Western Europe.

In a televised speech to municipal leaders on Tuesday, Mr. Erdogan said the European Union needs Turkey more than Ankara needs the economic bloc.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the country would not abide by the refugee agreement reached in March if Brussels failed to implement the pledge to grant Turks visa-free travel in the economic bloc by June.

If the European Union fails to stand by the agreement, “no one can expect Turkey to adhere to its commitments,” he told reporters on Monday.

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