Plan on migrants – Turkey agrees to help with crisis

© Ververidis Vasilis / Shutterstock

More than a million people entered the EU illegally by boat last year.

FOLLOWING the crisis summit being held in Brussels, the EU and Turkey have agreed in principle plans to alleviate the migration crisis. 

Donald Tusk, European council president said that all irregular migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey would be returned. 

Turkey wants the EU to accept a recognised Syrian refugee for each Syrian returned and offer more funding and progress on EU integration.

Further talks on the plan will continue before an EU meeting on March 17-18.

Presently the EU is facing its biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War. Most migrants come en route via Turkey, which currently has more than 2.7 million refugees sheltering there having fled from the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

Turkey put forward new proposals ahead of the EU summit on Monday March 7, and there was doubt on whether any agreement would go ahead. 

However, Donald Tusk said leaders had made a “breakthrough”, and he was hopeful of finalising the plan next week. 

He said the talks sent “a very clear message that the days of irregular migration to Europe are over”.

Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey had made a “bold decision to accept all irregular illegal migrants based on the assumption that for every one Syrian readmitted by Turkey from the Greek islands another Syrian will be resettled by Europe.”

The prime minister went on to say it was important to see the refugee deal as a package and to include progress on Turkish integration within the EU.

Angela Merkel the German Chancellor said the proposals could be a major step forward if realised, stressing that “irregular migration” needed to be turned into “regular migration”.

Prime Minister, David Cameron said EU leaders had “the basis for a breakthrough”, meaning all migrants arriving in Greece could be returned to Turkey.

Before the summit took place, Cameron stressed the UK would not take part in any resettlement scheme, saying: “We have an absolutely rock-solid opt-out from these things.”

More than a million people entered the EU illegally by boat last year, the main being from Turkey to Greece, more often than not with tragic consequences as desperate migrants attempt increasingly hazardous crossings. 

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    • CJ Roger

      09 March 2016 • 00:30

      Turkey “helps” ? Turkey is a cause of the illegal migration whilst illegally occupying part of Cyprus, committing genocide against Kurds, funding IS buying it’s oil, #islamifying it’s secular constitution, curbing freedom of speech & silencing independent criticism of its abuses.

      No way is Turkey fit to be an EU member.

    • Brian Eagleson

      08 March 2016 • 11:05

      This ‘agreement’ has more holes in it than a leaky sieve. “Donald Tusk, European council president said that all irregular migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey would be returned.” Sounds like he’s been listening to our very own Mike.

      3 things.
      1. How does Donald Tusk distinguish the difference between his “irregular” migrants and… er… “regular” ones? Does anyone know what a regular migrant is? Would that be someone who migrates regularly? Sorry, bad joke.

      2. Does he realise sending asylum seekers back into a war zone breaks United Nations treaties and is completely immoral anyway?

      3. Ain’t it ironic that he has offered to speed up Turkey’s application to join the EU just as Britain prepares to leave? Has he realised Turkey’s president has taken over the country’s last free-speech newspaper, made it state-owned and gagged it? Just what the EU needs – another dictator.

      Couldn’t make it up. If that makes me sound bitter, maybe it’s because I am. Bitter at the whole – literally bloody – mess. The entire human race is being treated like a flock of sheep led by fools.

    • Mike in ESP

      08 March 2016 • 21:09

      There is no way you seem to be able to understand that the EU cannot sustain this amount of migration, most EU countries are struggling with it, the citizens of many countries are getting very ante EU and angry because of it, even Germany is having it’s problems with it!
      What would be the right and the correct thing to do for many and what is actually politically and sustainably practical are two totally different things. EU countries cannot afford or cope with this amount of people and that is the sad but true fact! Those rights you bang on about for treatment in Spanish hospitals etc. and the same for other ex pats in other EU countries, those things that appear so important as reasons to vote to stay in the EU could eventually be lost as the spiraling costs on welfare and otherwise become unsustainable in countries that are practically bankrupt as it is. Now the EU leaders are realising their mistakes and trying to buy there way out of what they have caused.

      On your point 3. Just another reason to vote to leave the EU 😉

    • Brian Eagleson

      09 March 2016 • 10:06

      Re. “There is no way you seem to be able to understand that the EU cannot sustain this amount of migration”… Mike I have NEVER said that the EU can sustain this amount of migration. You have made that up all by yourself. I have been continually stressing this is a world issue and should not just be left to the EU which is clearly incapable of dealing with it on its own anyway. Honestly, what do you see when you read my posts? A red mist I expect instead of the words I actually write. You are so full of assumptions with no basis in fact. You are the one who is obsessed with the EU and can not see beyond it.

      As for my point no. 3, no it’s not “Just another reason to vote to leave the EU.” as you put it. In your usual short sighted manner you fail to realise that would guarantee Turkey becoming a member. The wise thing to do would be to stay in and use our veto to prevent Turkey’s membership. You can’t use a veto when you’ve already left.

    • Brian Eagleson

      09 March 2016 • 13:17

      Some good points there CJ Roger. The more worrying issue is that Turkey is already a full member of NATO with all the baggage that comes with that. It means America and Britain and Spain among others are obliged to come to its aid in the event of it becoming involved in a war. Similar treaties led to British involvement in two previous world wars although Spain stayed on the sidelines back then which it would not be able to do now.

      Maybe we need to prepare for, if we’re not in it already, a third world war. Especially if Turkey shoots down another Russian bomber over disputed Syrian/Turkish territory. Once may be called a mistake. Twice… Well…

      As the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen puts it, “The current truce is a respite, not an end. Syria’s mini-world-war is on (our) doorstep. Trying to contain it, or ignore it is no kind of policy.” And as the United Nations commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, says, “Long before so much was lost, the world’s big powers should have acted to stop the war and the exodus of civilians.” (A note to Mike, he said the world’s big powers, not just the EU’s.)

      Well, it is too late now to stop the war and hence the exodus. Syria is already destroyed. The TV images prove it. I expect matters can only continue to get worse before there is the remotest chance of the world’s superpowers doing anything to help the dreadful plight of these poor refugees.

    • Mike in ESP

      09 March 2016 • 22:21

      If you really want to think that the UK will be able to reform the EU from remaining in it then you go on ahead and think that but I fear you will be in for a surprise!
      The EU hasn’t listened much to the UK up to now, DC had a joker card to try and get something from the EU and look what he did with it… branding it a stroke of genius, honestly! I really wish I had the faith you seem to have!
      As far as using our veto on Turkey, DC has already stated he wants Turkey to join ‘granted just over a year ago’ but you watch how he goes along with the flow. Merkal has said she wants Turkey in, from what I have seen: what Angela wants Angela gets! Turkey are looking for D Tusk to make things go in a direction so Turkey can join and the EU are so desperate now those that lead the EU will sell their souls and ours at the first opportunity to get themselves out of this mess. I wouldn’t trust any one of them ‘including DC’ any more than I could kick them. If you think that staying in is wise then time will tell who is the short sighted one.

      When I was a kid my father used to say to me when we went fishing, have faith son have faith…. low and behold it always seemed to work then, it’s doesn’t seem to work with the EU!

    • Brian Eagleson

      10 March 2016 • 14:21

      Cameron’s past position on Turkey is well known. That could change though if he wins the referendum and stays in power or even takes his knighthood and is replaced by say, Osborne. Why? Well, Turkey’s government is now becoming very different from what it seemed to be, or pretended to be, when Cameron first supported its membership of the EU.

      Turkey’s president Erdogan is turning into a despotic hard-liner – among other things closing down the free-speech media and supporting a stricter form of Islamic law. Many ordinary Turks do not like this and the riots in the streets are becoming a big issue threatening Turkey’s stability. If it descends into chaos like so many other Muslim nations before it, then its membership would be less likely. I’m not saying that is definite. However all it would take to keep Turkey out would be one veto by one member country – say Britain.

      I am fully aware there is a big ‘if’ in the above, but if Cameron loses the referendum one thing is for sure. Britain will lose its ability to veto Turkey or any other applicant. That is a loss of power and influence in anyone’s language.

      Re. “The EU hasn’t listened much to the UK up to now” please do not ignore the fact that Thatcher handbagged them into the famous rebate. Who knows what an even more powerful personality could do in the future? Say another Boris? Pity he’s given up already and just wants out though.

    • Phil Mitchell

      22 July 2016 • 08:05

      Why oh why are people,including Mr.Pulleyblank, Graham, Lea whichever name you want to use,so hung up on Turkey. Untold thousands of them already packed to go to the U.K. said the above, Leapy, ( Please change the name again!) according to you, the dirty, full of immigrants, roads gridlocked, hospitals full,schools full, you wouldn’t want your worst enemy going to live there,so why would any right minded Turk want to go there.

      They are not and not likely to get in to Europe and does it matter now anyway,so rest easy Mr Lee!!!

      All this scaremongering from Boris the bumbler,and a one hit wonder who actually once slept under the same roof as the late, great Dusty Springfield.

      Regards Philip.

      San Fulgencio.

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