Turkey, Europe

'Turkey, EU should rework refugee deal': Dutch premier

Turkey, EU signed refugee deal in 2016 to improve conditions for millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey

Gözde Bayar   | 06.09.2019
'Turkey, EU should rework refugee deal': Dutch premier

THE HAGUE 

In light of Turkish complaints over its 2016 refugee deal with the EU, the deal should be renegotiated, the Netherlands' prime minister said on Friday.

“Turkey’s dissatisfaction about the implementations of the EU regarding the refugee deal should be renegotiated,” Mark Rutte told reporters at a news conference when asked about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks this week on refugees.

Rutte stressed that the negotiations should be between the bloc and Turkey.

The 2016 deal aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions for the 3 million -- now 3.6 million -- Syrian refugees in Turkey. Turkey has complained that the EU failed to uphold its side of the deal, including millions of euros in aid for the Syrian refugees.

On the deal, Rutte said that Turkey received both financial and practical support.

On Wednesday, Erdogan warned that Turkey could "open its doors" to let Syrian refugees to cross into Europe if Ankara does not get the support it expects.

The EU had pledged €6 billion ($6.6 billion) aid to improve living conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, but only €2.22 billion ($2.45 billion) were disbursed as of this June, according to Turkey.

Turkey currently hosts some 3.6 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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