Turkey threatens to suspend refugee deal amid crises with EU

Cheryl Sanders
March 21, 2017

Europe has become increasingly Islamophobic and xenophobic, with racist sentiments and attacks against Muslims and non-white refugees, migrants and even naturalised citizens increasing at an alarming rate.

"(Erdogan's) announcement makes clear that he isn't interested in joining at all", said Oppermann.

The Turkey-EU row has escalated notably after the Netherlands and Germany blocked Turkish ministers from holding rallies in their countries, ahead of the April 16 referendum which opponents fear will create a one-man rule in Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is courting Turks overseas for support in a referendum due to be held on 16 April that would reform Turkey's parliamentary democracy into an executive presidency, similar to the United States.

In addition bans on planned rallies by Turkish ministers in Germany to drum up support for Erdogan have also caused anger. Roughly 1.4 million Turks in Germany and approximately 380,000 in the Netherlands have the right to vote on the potential legislation. "You are Europe's future".

According to a Turkish Interior Ministry report, which was released on February, the total number of refugees in Turkey is now over 3.5 million and Turkey has spent more than 25 million United States dollars on looking after refugees up until now.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte fended off the challenge of Wilders to score an election victory hailed across Europe by governments facing a rising wave of nationalism.

Rotterdam's mayor had initially granted permission for a pro-Turkish protest to take place on Friday over the police's tactics at the weekend, but the organisers later called it off, a city council spokesman said.

"We are not taking part in a game of provocation", German deputy government spokesman Georg Streiter said in response to the newspaper splash.

Relations between Berlin and Ankara have soured recently over a German Parliament resolution labeling the 20th century killing of Armenians as "genocide", Turkey's crackdown on the opposition and civil society following a failed coup last summer, and appearances in Germany by Turkish officials campaigning for constitutional change in an upcoming referendum.

Juncker warned that talks on Turkey's accession to the European Union would automatically end if Ankara were to re-introduce the death penalty.

Soylu referenced last year's deal between Turkey and the European Union in which Europe agreed to pay Ankara $6.8 billion to lessen the number of Syrian refugees crossing the Aegean Sea into Greece.

Sigmar Gabriel described Erdogan's comments, including likening Germany's current leaders to Nazis, as "ludicrous" but said Europe should stop responding in a war of words which only plays into the Turkish leader's hands. Let us remind you that you can not play games in this region and ignore Turkey, ' he added.

The EU says it expects Turkey to continue implementing the deal.

Other reports by iNewsToday