Monday, February 8, 2016

Erdogan traded Syrian refugees for money, visa-free travel to Europe, the inclusion of Turkish officials in EU summits, and a re-invigoration of Turkey's EU accession process

    Monday, February 08, 2016   No comments

Erdoğan used Syrians for economic and political gains: Report reveals that Erdogan, essentially, traded Syrian refugees for money, visa-free travel to Europe, the inclusion of Turkish officials in EU summits, and a re-invigoration of Turkey's EU accession process

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to send buses full of refugees to Greece if the EU did not finalize an agreement with Turkey over the action plan to stem the flow of refugees to Europe, according to the leaked transcript of a meeting between Erdoğan and leaders of the EU.

The transcript, published by the Greek-based euro2day.gr online news portal, claims to be the minutes of a meeting of Erdoğan, President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission (EC) Jean-Claude Juncker.

According to the transcript Erdoğan pushes the EU leaders for 3 billion euros per year, for two years, instead of 3 billion euros over two years, which the EU proposed. According to the leak, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who was present at the meeting, showed Juncker an internal document belonging to the EC, which stated 3 billion euros per year.

Erdoğan also asks whether the proposal would be for 3 billion or 6 billion euros. When Juncker confirmed 3 billion, Erdoğan said Turkey did not need the EU's money.

“We [Turkey] can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria any time, and we can put the refugees on buses,” Erdoğan was quoted as saying.

The meeting was held in Antalya in the run-up to the EU-Turkey summit on Nov. 29, 2015, in which the action plan that envisages Turkey stemming the flow of Syrian refugees to Europe was signed.

In return for keeping the refugees, the EU promised Turkey 3 billion euros, visa-free travel to Europe, the inclusion of Turkish officials in EU summits and a re-invigoration of Turkey's EU accession process -- starting with the opening of the 15th chapter of the negotiation acquis.

All 28 EU countries recently signed off on the proposal to allocate the funds to Turkey at a meeting in Brussels. The funds will be given to Ankara in return for Turkey culling the flow of immigrants to Europe. source

Ed Isr

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