Turkey’s Erdoğan, Germany’s Merkel talk refugees

Turkey’s Erdoğan, Germany’s Merkel talk refugees

Turkey’s Erdoğan, Germany’s Merkel talk refugees

AP Photo

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have exchanged views on the Syrian refugee crisis as European countries experience an unprecedented human migrant influx.

During a telephone conversation on Sept. 16, Erdoğan told Merkel the international community and especially the EU should share burden of the Syrian refugee influx as Turkey already hosts some two million Iraqis and Syrians fleeing violence, sources from Erdoğan’s office told reporters. The same sources didn’t elaborate which side initiated the conversation.

Merkel, for part, voiced appreciation of Turkey’s efforts and acknowledged that the EU countries should shoulder a greater responsibility in dealing with the Syrian humanitarian crisis, sources said. Being in dialogue with Turkey is important in order to keep immigration in control, Merkel told Erdoğan.

The contact between the German and the Turkish leaders comes as pressure is building for a special EU summit concentrating on solutions for the crisis, with the bloc bitterly split and free movement across borders -- a pillar of the European project -- in grave jeopardy.

Merkel, along with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, said on Sept. 15 that they wanted a summit next week. The EU has said interior ministers would hold an emergency meeting on Sept. 22.