Turkey Agreement With Europe

The CONTROVERSIAL EU refugee deal with Turkey has been under way for two years. But there are still some problems, but the question of funding, in particular, is not yet fully resolved. Relations with Turkey have deteriorated considerably following the Turkish purges of 2016/2017, including the repression of media freedom and the arrest of journalists, as well as the country`s orientation towards authoritarianism under the Akp and Erdogan. Overnight, reception centres and makeshift camps on the Greek islands were converted into detention centres. Refugees who arrived before 20 March 2016 were transferred to the islands and subsequent arrivals were detained indefinitely on the islands. The already bad conditions have immediately deteriorated: the population of Moria camp is, for example, largely overcrowded since people forced to live in smoky and overcrowded conditions, without access to adequate sanitation, medical care or nutritious food. Finally, conditions have deteriorated in Samos, and people are crammed into a camp six times above capacity. On 18 March 2016, the EU concluded a migration agreement with Turkey, which aims to allow refugees to enter the EU. As part of the agreement, Turkey has agreed to take back migrants entering Greece and send legal refugees to the EU. In exchange, the EU agreed to grant Turkey six billion euros and grant Turkish citizens visa-free travel by the end of June 2016 if Turkey meets 72 conditions. [69] In March 2016, the EU published a report that Turkey was meeting 35 of the 72 free visa requirements across Europe. [70] By May 2016, this figure had risen to 65 out of 72. [71] Critics have said the deal could force migrants determined to reach Europe to use other potentially more dangerous routes, such as travel between North Africa and Italy.

Human rights groups are highly critical of the deal: Amnesty International accuses the EU of „turning its back on the global refugee crisis.“ [48] A Chatham House document argued that the agreement, by over-meeting Erdogan`s demands, encouraged Turkey to make „more unilateral concessions in the future.“ [49] One of the main problems that many human rights organizations have with the agreement is that Turkey does not meet the standards for welcoming refugees. In particular, many refugees cannot apply for asylum in Turkey and, while there, they do not have a quality standard of living. [51] In addition, refugees in Turkey are limited to certain areas where they are allowed to stay. In these areas, critical infrastructure, such as hospitals, is often lacking. [47] In December 2013, following the signing of a readmission agreement, the EU began a dialogue with Turkey on visa liberalisation, which should include a „roadmap for visa-free travel“. [64] After the 2015 G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, in November 2015, Turkey`s EU accession negotiations took a new initiative, including the goal of lifting the visa requirement for Turkish citizens. [65] The EU welcomed Turkey`s commitment to accelerate the implementation of the benchmarks of the visa roadmap set by participating EU Member States. [66] A joint action plan has been drawn up with the European Commission, which has developed a roadmap with certain benchmarks for the abolition of the visa requirement. [67] The agreement called for the abolition of visas for Turkish citizens within one year if certain conditions are met. [68] Negotiations have been made difficult by the UK`s withdrawal from the bloc, which will no longer pay funds to eu coffers. In order to reach a consensus between the Heads of State and Government, Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, organised an extraordinary summit on 20 February in Brussels.