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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) during the G20 Summit in Antalya, on November 16, 2015

    Merkel Wants to Send NATO Ships to Curry Favor With Erdogan

    © AFP 2019 / POOL / KAYHAN OZER
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    Germany is placating Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan by requesting a NATO mission to the Aegean Sea to support Turkey in the fight against the trafficking of people and contraband, German newspaper DWN writes.

    Angela Merkel's offer to send German ships and police to fulfil Turkey's request for greater NATO backing in the Aegean Sea reflects the power the migrant crisis has given Ankara over the EU's largest economy, German Economic News (DWN) wrote on Thursday.

    "In fact this action is a helpless gesture from Angela Merkel in order to stay in the good books of Turkish President Erdogan, who has his back to the wall because of the military successes of the Russians, Syrians and Kurds," DWN wrote.

    Merkel traveled to Ankara on Monday to meet with Erdogan and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss ways of regulating the migrant crisis. She previously met the government in Ankara in October, when she described Turkey as the "key country" in tackling the flow of migrants and refugees to Europe.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, speaks to the media during a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016.
    © AP Photo / Burhan Ozbilici
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, speaks to the media during a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016.

    Merkel and Davutoglu announced at a press conference after their meeting that Turkey and Germany will make a joint recommendation to NATO that the alliance involves itself in stopping the flow across the Aegean Sea to Europe, giving assistance to Turkey and the EU border agency Frontex.

    "In particular, we will make a joint effort on the effective use of NATO's observation and monitoring mechanisms on the border and in the Aegean," Davutoglu told the press.

    ​'NATO ships in the Aegean: Merkel is fighting to be in favor with Erdogan,' DWN reported.

    DWN wrote that the proposal is little more than an empty gesture aimed at appeasing President Erdogan, who has threatened to open Europe's borders to millions more refugees if the EU does not accede to his demands for more money and support for Turkey's accession to the EU.

    "The mission is old hat: since 2001 NATO has patrolled the Mediterranean Sea as part of Operation Active Endeavour."

    "Merkel talks of support for Turkey against traffickers. The problem is that NATO is a military alliance and not the Salvation Army. They can see their coats slipping off because of Russian and Syrian military successes. But without an explicit mandate from Washington the generals are powerless. NATO signaled on Wednesday that a mission at short notice is out of the question."

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