NEWS NATIONAL NEWS        15/10/2015

EU strikes deal with Turkey over migrants

A provisional deal has been reached between the EU and Turkey which offers Turkey some Euro 3 billion in funding, relaxing of visa restrictions on Turks, and speeding up of negotiations on Turkey’s entrance to EU, in return for Turkey taking serious measures to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.

This agreement, which was thrashed out in Ankara between the European Commission and Recep Tayy?p Erdo?an, Turkey’s President, will require the approval of EU member states.

The agreement includes Euro 3 billion in fresh funds, a sum more than six-times the amount first proposed by the commission; a process to open about five chapters in Turkey’s EU membership negotiations; and visa liberalisation giving 75 million Turks immediate access to the Schengen border-free area as soon as 2016.

Turkey expects to be included in an EU “safe list”, which would make it easier to reject Turkish asylum seekers. Furthermore, Erdo?an expects the EU to hold a joint summit with Turkey, or invite him to speak to a summit of EU leaders.

In return for the above concessions, Turkey will strengthen its border control measures. In exchange for visa privileges, in particular, it would enact a “readmission” deal to receive asylum seekers deported from the EU after entering from Turkish territory. Turkey will eventually also give the estimated 2 million Syrian refugees residing in Turkey a legal route to make a living in Turkey, reducing the incentives to attempt to enter Europe.

Despite the fact that EU leaders do not view Erdogan highly because of his increasingly authoritarian approach, Europe has now felt the necessity to deal with him directly since the migrants started to flood into Europe. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has recognised that EU would be unable “to order and stem the refugee movement without working together with Turkey”. 

Turkey’s net minimum wage has been raised 26.05% to TL 2,020 (USD 381) as of 01.01.2019       Migration communication helpline 157 available for foreigners in Turkey       Read our homepage articles on developments in the Turkish economy       Turkey’s annual inflation rate increases to 16.65% in July 2019       Turkey’s unemployment rate decreases to 12.8% in May 2019       Read our BUSINESS section for latest sectoral and corporate news       Turkey’s population is 82,003,882 as of 2018 yearend       Number of foreigners visiting Turkey in 2018 increases by 21.8% to 39.5 million       Turkey’s private sector foreign debt is USD 225.8 billion as of 2018 yearend       Turkey’s economy contracted by 2.6% in the first quarter of 2019       Turkey shows surplus of USD 538 million in its 12 month rolling current account balance in June 2019