News / Europe

    Turkey Asks EU for Additional $3B to Help Stem Migrant Flow

    Migrants walk to registration and transit camp after entering Macedonia from Greece near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, Saturday, March 5, 2016.
    Migrants walk to registration and transit camp after entering Macedonia from Greece near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, Saturday, March 5, 2016.

    Ankara wants the European Union to double the aid it is is giving to Turkey to deal with the migrant crisis, the European Parliament's president said Monday.

    As EU representatives discussed the crisis with their Turkish counterparts at a summit in Brussels and thousands of people remained stranded at the Greece-Macedonia border, European Parliament President Martin Schulz said Turkey had asked for an additional $3.3 billion to help curb the flow of migrants to the continent.

    Last November, the EU agreed to give Ankara $3.3 billion for help in dealing with the refugee crisis.

    Reuters reports a draft EU-Turkey agreement on migration says Turkey will agree to take back temporarily "all irregular migrants" arriving in the Greek islands from Turkey.  In return, the EU will lift visa requirements for Turkish citizens by end the June and speed up the process for Turkey joining the EU, the news agency reported.

    Countries from Macedonia on north have shut their borders, preventing people mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq from traveling on toward Germany and Scandinavian nations.

    The influx of nearly 1 million people arriving by sea in Greece since the beginning of 2015 has European leaders looking to persuade Turkey to both keep migrants from taking the dangerous route and also take back thousands who don't qualify for EU asylum.

    Turkey is hosting more than 2.7 million refugees from Syria alone, and, like European nations and other Syrian neighbors, has struggled with the burden of providing services. 

    A migrant arranges a blanket among tents at a makeshift camp for refugees and migrants at the Greek-Macedonian border, near the village of Idomeni, Greece, March 5, 2016.
    A migrant arranges a blanket among tents at a makeshift camp for refugees and migrants at the Greek-Macedonian border, near the village of Idomeni, Greece, March 5, 2016.

    The EU has offered several incentives to get Turkish authorities to crack down on migrant movements.  Some $3.3 billion will be made available for Syrian refugees.  Turkey's long-coveted EU membership process is being sped up, as are moves to ease EU visa requirements.

    NATO announced Sunday it is deploying ships to the Aegean Sea to help Greece and Turkey "tackle human trafficking and the criminal networks that are fueling this crisis."

    Britain said it is sending several ships as part of the NATO force.

    "We've got to break the business model of the criminal smugglers and stop the desperate flow of people crammed into makeshift vessels from embarking on a fruitless and perilous journey," British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement.

    Those dangers were highlighted again Sunday with 25 migrants drowning while trying to reach Greece from Turkey.  The Turkish coast guard managed to pull 15 others to safety.

    The International Organization for Migration says more than 400 people have died this year trying to reach Europe by sea.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Steve from: Denver
    March 07, 2016 5:04 PM
    Why isn't Turkey using money from all the oil provided to them by ISIS?

    by: james jeame jema from: Santa Monica
    March 07, 2016 4:15 PM
    Give it to the Syrian government in the form of material help, for camps and housing inside Syria. Turkey will steal the money and use it to support jihadists against Kurds.
    Don't support any rebels. They will turn against US.
    Secular governments in muslim countries are the best.

    by: Hamik Gregory from: Kings Beach, CA USA
    March 07, 2016 2:57 PM
    Westerners are so naive! They should never extend loans to Middle Eastern countries. The money will get ripped off! Turkey, typical Middle Eastern fashion, will take the money and do nothing!

    by: Anonymous
    March 07, 2016 2:23 PM
    Trump will let them all in to create a human wall, facing Mexico.

    by: Anonymous
    March 07, 2016 2:21 PM
    For three Billion dollars, they can all come to my house.

    by: Molly Brown from: U.S.A.
    March 07, 2016 2:00 PM
    This what Trump must have meant by having Mexico pay for the wall.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    March 07, 2016 10:14 AM
    Since Russia and Iran are sustaining Assad and Turkey and Saudi Arabia are sustaining IS, that's where the refugees should go. If Europe is willing to let millions of them in, they'll find it far preferable. Now how will Europe persuade them to go someplace else?
    In Response

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    March 08, 2016 12:10 PM
    meanbill, you give America far too much credit. They never could have planned to destroy both the Mideast and Europe so effectively and effortlessly had they set out to accomplish just that. NONE of these people are America's true friends or allies. Americans have short memories. When they don't need something from us, they treat us with contempt. They find fault with everything we do or don't do if it's not the way they want it done.

    It's true this is a terrible human tragedy but this was brought about by Europe and the Mideast itself, not the US. About the only thing the US did was to demonstrate in Afghanistan and Iraq that theocracies and tyrants could be overthrown by force. US military aid to rebels in places like Syria has been minimal. Far greater aid to Iraq's government was abandoned to IS. Most of the arms in Libya came from Russia. The whole area is in flames and they are spreading to Europe, soon Russia. Russia plays its little game attacking the rebels while pretending to attack IS. I don't think there is any way they can protect Assad. I just hope they send ground troops in and we get out completely to avoid direct confrontation. Funny how the EU is now at Turkey's mercy and the shoe is on the other foot. Soak 'em for all you can Erdogan.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 07, 2016 4:21 PM
    The flood of displaced homeless migrants that are overwhelming Europe now, have become a (peaceful invasion) by the innocent victims of the wars that the NATO countries brought on to their countries? .. AND NOW? .. These innocent displaced homeless migrant victims are looking for a safe place to live and raise their families where the NATO countries won't ever attack them again, [knowing], that NATO will never attack a country in western Europe?

    It's a (peaceful invasion) of Europe, that may never end? .. all caused by the wars that the NATO countries waged on their countries? .. Can Turkey alone stop the (peaceful invasion) of Europe? .. This spring offensive by the innocent displaced homeless migrant victims will tell, won't it? .. IF only NATO hadn't waged war on their countries, the status quo would've remained the same? .. do you think?

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