THE EU must pay Turkey €3bn if the country is to keep up its side of a deal to stop migrants trying to get into Europe, president Tayyip Erdogan has said.
By Ross Logan
President Erdogan has again threatened to pull out of the deal to take more EU migrants
Brussels had struck an agreement with Ankara that would see Turkey block people from crossing over into Greece in return for financial aid, accelerated talks over EU membership and visa-free travel to Europe for Turks.
But the deal has stalled amid concerns over the severity of Erdogan’s response to the failed military coup, as well as some EU member states long-held reservations about Turkey’s ascension.
Erdogan has grown increasingly frustrated with the delays, and has previously threatened to call off the deal if Turkey’s demands are not met.
His made his latest threat to pull out of the agreement during a speech in Ankara on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
Earlier this month, Erdogan said the EU was “not behaving in a sincere manner with Turkey”, adding the visa free travel agreement was menat to have started in June.
“If our demands are not satisfied then the readmissions will no longer be possible,” he warned.
Under the deal, Turkey agreed to accept the return of migrants arriving on Greek Islands and other destinations in Europe.
Syrian migrants queue at Edirne International Bus Terminal in Turkey on the way to Greece in 2015
If our demands are not satisfied then the readmissions will no longer be possible
President Tayyip Erdogan thretanes to pull out of the EU deal
In return, Turkish citizens were to be given visa-free access to the Schengen Zone, the passport check-free area in mainland Europe but not the UK.
But the EU has so far held back on dropping the visa requirement because Turkey has yet to meet every clause of the agreement.
Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern has even suggested ending Turkey’s EU membership talks altogether because of the country’s democratic and economic deficits.
In an interview an Austrian newspaper, Mr Kurz said: “I have a seat and a vote in the (EU) foreign ministers’ council.
“There the question is whether new negotiation chapters will be opened with Turkey, and I am against it.”