European Union hails migration deal with Turkey amid diplomatic tensions

Ebony Scott
March 20, 2017

Turkey has never been less likely to join the European Union than now and the bloc should seek a special relationship with Britain, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said as relations between Ankara and Berlin hit a low point.

"We have a readmission deal".

Earlier, Turkey's top diplomat Mevlut Cavusoglu said there was "no difference" between Mr Rutte's liberals and the "fascist" Mr Wilders.

Erdogan has recently upped his antagonistic rhetoric towards Europe after Germany and the Netherlands both canceled campaign appearances by Turkish politicians.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is courting Turks overseas for support in an April 16 referendum that would grant him sweeping new powers.

Ankara also suspended high-level relations with Amsterdam and blocked the Dutch ambassador to Turkey from returning to his post after leaving the country. "Patience is needed", said Bahceli, who supports Erdogan's bid for a presidential system in Turkey.

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Erdogan wants to win the votes of large Turkish populations ahead of the key referendum which critics argued that will confirm his authoritarian rule.

"Despite challenging circumstances, the first year of the EU-Turkey Statement has confirmed a steady delivery of tangible results", announced the factsheet.

Gabriel said Erdogan was taking advantage of a sentiment many people of Turkish origin have in Germany that they are neither accepted nor welcomed, but failed to address why these European citizens of Turkish background may feel this way. It's the Netherlands and Germany.

Sweeping aside the EU's remarks, Turkey's European Union affairs minister and foreign minister earlier this week threatened to tear up the migration deal, accusing the European Union of reneging on its promise to grant visa exemption for Turkish citizens. "We can criticise Germany and German politics, even harshly, but there are limits set by our laws".

Cengiz Aktar, senior scholar at Istanbul's policy centre, told Xinhua that if things go worse, there could be a potential risk of rupture in the accession talks launched between Ankara and Brussels in 2005.

"You use all kinds of banditry for your own ends against a state like Turkey and then you act as if nothing happened and continue as before".

Other reports by GizPress

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