Turkish PM says hopes will achieve migration goal with EU

Turkish PM says hopes will achieve migration goal with EU

Turkish PM says hopes will achieve migration goal with EU

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Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on March 18 in Brussels that he hoped to achieve an agreement with the EU leaders who are seeking to convince Ankara to help stem the influx of migrants into Europe. 

“Of course the EU and Turkey have the same goal, the same objective to help Syrian refugees especially and also to have a new feature in our continents in a right manner. This is our purpose,” Davutoğlu was quoted as saying by Reuters on arrival for talks in Brussels. 

“I am sure, I hope, we will be achieving our goal.” 

Davutoğlu was arriving for talks with EU leaders who are hoping to convince Turkey to help end Europe’s migration crisis in return for financial and political concessions.      

He also warned EU leaders that Ankara’s offer to curb the refugee flow to Europe is a humanitarian rather than a “bargaining” issue.

“For Turkey, the refugee issue is not an issue of bargaining but an issue of values, humanitarian values as well as European values,” Davutoğlu said. 

Apart from the 3 billion euros the EU had pledged October 2015 to give Turkey to help improve the living conditions of the Syrian refugees in the country, Turkey demanded an extra 3 billion euros in order to share the burden of the migrant crisis. 

Before departing for Brussels, Davutoğlu said that Turkey would not allow for any deal aiming to turn the country into an open prison for refugees. 

Speaking during a news conference before leaving for the summit, Davutoğlu said Turkey was exerting diplomatic efforts to stop human trafficking. 

“We will not be deterred by any proposal that will turn Turkey into an open refugee prison,” said Davutoğlu late March 17. 

“We have submitted a clear and humanitarian offer to Europe [over the refugee deal], but Turkey will not be a transit country for human trafficking or a depot of refugees,” Davutoğlu said, state-run Anadolu Agency reported. 

Davutoğlu is due to meet EU Council President Tusk, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte for breakfast on March 18, before EU leaders meet again for final consultations expected around noon, EU officials told AFP.

Under Turkey’s proposal to the EU, the country wants the 28-nation bloc to “share the burden.” That means “for every Syrian readmitted by Turkey from the Greek islands, another Syrian will be resettled from Turkey to the EU member states.” 

Ankara also wants visa liberalization by June, the speeding up of Turkey’s accession talks and an additional three billion euros. 

Davutoğlu said that with the proposed plan, Turkey aims to help people who want to migrate to Europe through legal ways by instituting a method that would prevent illegal crossings from Turkey to the EU.

He called the final aim of the method “humanitarian,” but added that the aim’s costs needed to be shared by the EU and Turkey.