Turkey’s Erdogan to Meet with EU Leaders Over Migrant Agreements

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erodgan said Sunday that he will meet with European Union officials in Brussels on Monday to discuss an influx of migrants in Turkey.As migrants from Syria continue to cross into Turkey, Erdogan has said Ankara can no lon...

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erodgan said Sunday that he will meet with European Union officials in Brussels on Monday to discuss an influx of migrants in Turkey.

As migrants from Syria continue to cross into Turkey, Erdogan has said Ankara can no longer abide by the 2016 law that prevents migrants in Turkey from traveling into the European Union.

"I will have a meeting with European Union officials tomorrow in Belgium," Erdogan said during a speech in Istanbul on Sunday.

According to the 2016 deal, the EU was supposed to provide Turkey with some $6.8 billion to finance housing and education of migrants. But Ankara says it has not received the money.

"I hope I will return from Belgium with different outcomes,” Erdogan said Sunday, amid calls from his government urging Greece to open its borders.

On Saturday, Ankara offered one positive gesture, as officials announced they would no longer allow migrants to reach Greece through the Aegean Sea because of safety concerns. But it has put no similar restrictions on its land borders with Bulgaria and Greece, where days of clashes between migrants and Greek border guards are exacerbating tensions.

In back-to-back emergency meetings of European interior and foreign ministers this week, along with visits to the Greek border by senior EU officials, member states pushed back, saying they would not be blackmailed by Ankara. Turkey must fully honor the migrant agreement, they said, before they will consider further assistance.

Adding to the pressure of hosting roughly 3.7 million refugees is another wave of refugees pressing to enter Turkey following fighting in Idlib, Syria.

Last week, Greek authorities used tear gas and a water cannon to prevent migrants from crossing the border into their country from Turkey, while Turkish authorities fired volleys of tear gas into the Greek territory.

Thousands of refugees have reached Turkey’s eastern border from land and sea, and have been camping out since last week in hopes of making their way to Greece and eventually to other Western European countries.

Source: Voice of America