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.