The European Parliament's former Turkey rapporteur, Kati Piri, criticized the bloc for failing to fulfill pledges made to Turkey as part of the 2016 readmission deal, after Ankara announced it would no longer stem the flow of migrants toward Europe.
In a statement on her Twitter account, Piri shared a long list of promises not kept by the European Union.
She noted that the bloc still has not implemented visa-free travel for Turkish citizens, even though the deal stipulated lifting visa requirements by the end of 2016.
“6 billion € until 2018 (and no new funding foreseen)? Upgrading of Customs Union? (blocked by Council) The opening of new accession chapters? (Never happened),” Piri said.
She also noted that only 25,000 refugees have been resettled in three years, even though the deal promised large-scale resettlement.
“Ironic that EU leaders suddenly all call for EU-Turkey statement to be upheld, while NO money has been reserved in #MFF for its continuation,” Piri added.
Ankara and Brussels signed an agreement in 2016 to find a solution to the influx of refugees heading to the union. According to the deal, Turkey was promised a total of 6 billion euros in financial aid, which was initially designed to be given to the country in two stages and be used by the Turkish government to finance projects for Syrian refugees. Visa freedom for Turkish citizens was also promised to be provided under the agreement.
Lastly, the customs union was also to be updated in accordance with the deal. In exchange for these promises by the EU, Turkey took the responsibility of discouraging irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of more than 3 million Syrians living in Turkey.
Despite significant developments in the control of migration traffic, the EU could not deliver on its commitments stated in the deal.
Turkey already hosts some 3.7 million migrants from Syria alone, more than any other country in the world.
Turkish officials have also been calling on world powers to take action to prevent a humanitarian crisis in northwestern Syria’s Idlib province, where the Bashar Assad regime is indiscriminately targeting civilians, prompting a new influx of migrants toward Turkey.
Frustrated about broken promises and overwhelmed by already hosting almost 4 million refugees, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced Friday that Turkey would no longer prevent migrant crossings.
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