Explaining that today's meeting will mainly concern refugee quotas, Davutoğlu said: "Saying that first the flow of refugees should stop, is beyond anyone. It is a humanitarian issue. We have done whatever is necessary, are still doing it and will continue to do so. The significant thing is that awareness [of the issue] in Europe is on the rise." Davutoğlu stressed that there are things that fall on the shoulders of the two sides and Turkey has taken significant steps in this regard. "Because the crisis in Syria continues to escalate, the number of refugees has not declined drastically, but there is a decline. We will lay the base for our projects in the upcoming weeks," he said. Explaining that the EU has to send Ankara notice about the 3 billion euros of aid and refugee quotas, Davutoğlu said: "Even though it is not fair and appropriate, Turkey can handle it alone."
WHAT TURKEY WANTS
- Equitable distribution of the financial burden of refugees
- Orderly transfer and sharing of the Syrian refugees with Europe
- Lifting of the EU visa imposed on Turkish citizens
- Measures to allow progress in Turkey's EU membership process
- Comprehensive deal to alleviate problems caused by the Syrian crisis
Turkey and the EU have been intensifying efforts for mutual understanding and consensus on the refugee and migrant issue. Beginning the dialogue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Istanbul in mid-October to hold meetings with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Davutoğlu, the two sides agreed on a deal in late November.
WHAT EUROPE WANTS
- Turkey allowing re-admittance of economic refugees
- Measures against human smugglers
- Setting up of interview
centers in Turkey to review asylum status
- Turkey concluding re-admittance deal with third countries
- Deal to prevent the Syrian crisis resulting in the collapse
of the Schengen zone