Creating new perspectives since 2009

German FM: EU not fulfilling commitments to Turkey regarding refugees

January 20, 2016 at 12:10 pm

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Tuesday: “It is clear that we [EU] cannot only expect Turkey to fulfil its commitments [regarding refugees] while the European side is not doing the same,” Anadolu reported.

Steinmeier noted that Turkish cooperation in solving the refugee crisis is key based on its geographical position. Turkey has accommodated a large number of Syrian refugees and pledged to give them access to the labour market.

“Turkey has received assurances that the EU will contribute to the cost of accommodating refugees on Turkish territory,” Steinmeier said. “Turkey has also undertaken initial steps, intending to give refugees living there access to the labour market.”

Could you make it as a refugee?

Since January 2015, over 1 million people have arrived in Europe by sea and land
Take the journey from Syria to Europe and see if you’d survive

He also added that Turkey had introduced a visa obligation for Syrians entering its soil through other countries. “This is to be extended soon to cover a range of African nationalities,” he said.

Meanwhile, the foreign minister urged the EU members to fulfil their pledge of 3 billion euros in financial assistance to Turkey. “The EU has promised 3 billion euros aid to Turkey for the accommodation of refugees but so far nothing concrete has happened in terms of the finance,” he said.

“There is at least one, maybe a few more countries, which have not yet approved this. Therefore, during the EU foreign ministers’ meeting yesterday, there was heavy criticism of these countries for denying their approval so far,” he added, according to the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah.

Steinmeier said that closing borders in the face of the refugees is not a solution, suggesting that Turkey has to take more measures to control its borders.

He also noted that it is important to look at the reasons behind the refugee crisis to be able to effectively tackle the issue.