Before the EU Turkey November agreement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened the EU leaders to flood Europe with refugees in case they don’t accept his demands.
Greek website, Euro2day, revealed what looks like a readout of the G20 meeting between Erdogan and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.
The account of the meeting, in English, was reproduced in a digital scan on the Greek website (see bottom of this article). Even though it doesn’t state when or where the meeting took place, Reuters reported that it appears to have been on November 16 in Antalya, Turkey, where the three met after a G20 summit there.
In the meeting Erdogan, requested billions of euros in aid and re-opening of the EU accession talks or else Turkey “can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and put the refugees on buses.”
Then Erdogan asked Juncker and Tusk, “so how will you deal with refugees if you don’t get a deal? Kill the refugees?” Tusk answered that Europe can make itself less attractive to the refugees, but that’s not the solution the Union wants.
Erdogan stressed that the EU multi-billion aid must be per year and he continued by dictating the EU officials about how “we” (referring to the EU and Turkey) should have used the Greek bailout money. Erdogan said that “Greece got more than €400 billion during euro crisis. We should have invested some of that money into a safe zone in Syria, which would have solved all problems with refugees.”
Then Tusk tried to explain to Erdogan that the Greek bailout money are loans by Eurozone Member States and were also given to secure the sustainability of the Eurozone economy, and had nothing to do with the refugee crisis. Then, Erdogan said that the EU aid to Turkey will be given for the survival of Schengen, which is an EU project. Juncker replied by saying that if Schengen is gone, then Turkey can have no visa-free deal with the EU.
The Turkish leader then attacked Juncker saying that the EU is mocking Turkey for 53 years, saying that the Union has done nothing for Turkey.
Juncker replied and said that Turkey hasn’t always been a democracy for example. Erdogan answered back by saying that neither were Germany and the UK, which lead to a great war and he dictated Juncker not to compare Turkey with Luxembourg as “Luxembourg is like a town in Turkey.”
The tense negotiations finally led to an agreement, as the two sides agreed at the end of November, that Turkey’s accession process needs to be re-energized, and an initial €3 billion will be given in assistance. Turkey on the other hand, is now obliged to limit the refugee influx in the EU.
Euro2day, reported that the EU leaders didn’t notify the Greek government nor the leaders of the EU Member States, for the comments made by Erdogan. The website underlines that the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, had visited Turkey the day after the tense meeting between the EU leaders and Erdogan.
Reuters’ also reported that the Euro2day report prompted a member of the European Parliament from the Greek right-center party The River to ask the European Commission to confirm the purported talks.
“If the relevant dialogues between the EU officials and the Turkish President are true, it seems that there are aspects of the deal between Ankara and the EU which were concealed on purpose,” Miltos Kyrkos said in the question he submitted to the Commission.
“We want immediately an answer on whether these revelations are true and where the Commission’s legitimacy to negotiate, using Turkey’s accession course as a trump card, is coming from,” Kyrkos said.
Euro2day’s report remains unconfirmed by both the Turkish government and the EU institutions.
Merkel’s visit to Ankara
Now, Euro2day, reported that the Turkish government wants more money from the EU and German Chancellor Angela Merkel is blaming the European Commission for conducting “wrong” negotiations.
According to the Greek website, Merkel is willing to satisfy all of the Turkish demands as she believes that the European refugee crisis will be fixed only if Turkey stop the refugee influx.