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    Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses the audience during a meeting in Ankara, January 12, 2016.

    Erdogan Threatened to Flood Europe With Refugees Unless EU Deal Agreed

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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

    Newly published documents show that the President of Turkey Recep Erdogan threatened the European Commission with a series of demands over its proposed membership of the European Union in return for agreement to stem the flow of migrants entering Europe.

    According to documents leaked to the euro2day.gr financial news website, Erdogan demanded faster action over Turkey's accession to become a full member of the EU and described the US$3.4 billion offer of EU funds over two years to help stem the flow of migrants reaching Europe as an "insult."

    In October 2015, European Union leaders agreed to pay Turkey US$3.4 billion and allow visa-free EU travel for its citizens in return for Ankara doing its utmost to stem the tide of asylum seekers crossing its borders to reach Europe.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) meets with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Turkey, October 18, 2015.
    © REUTERS / Tolga Bozoglu/Pool
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) meets with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Turkey, October 18, 2015.

    The deal also included a promise of expediting negotiations over Turkey's accession into the European Union, but AK Party spokesman Omer Celik said the US$3.4 billion should not be seen as a matter of "political bribery."

    'Insult' to Turkey

    However, according to the notes from a meeting on the sidebar of the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, Erdogan threatened to "open the doors to Greece and Bulgaira anytime and we can put the refugees on buses."

    "So how will you deal with refugees if you don't get a deal? Kill the refugees?"

    In what was clearly a tense meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk, Erdogan belittled Juncker — who had been prime minister of Luxembourg from 1995 to 2013. Saying he represented 80 million people, he told Juncker:

    "Luxembourg is just like a little town in Turkey."

    He was particularly scathing about the US$3.4 billion offer. He is listed in the documents as having said:

    "Greece got more than US$450 billion during [the euro crisis […] But US$3.4 billion is an insult."

    The notes say Erdogan said to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker:

    "Germany alone has spent some US$6.7 billion on refugees only this year. And the EU is spending some US$56 billion altogether on refugees. We need to be fair to each other."

    The meeting notes show there was further disagreement over the US$3.4 billion.

    "Erdogan insists that the EU hasn't done anything for Turkey. The money is [for] refugees, not Turkey.

    Moreover, you are using our pre-accession money. It's really nothing. We have waited for 53 years. You have been mocking us," the note says. 

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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    refugee crisis, leaked documents, migrants, financial aid, money, European Commission, European Union, Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Europe, Turkey
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