Embolden by his new found power after the failed coup attempt, Turkish president Erdogan has turned his attention to his favorite punching bag, German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
After extorting €6 billion from the EU, for a “refugee” deal that saw Turkey put a stop to “Syrian” refugees flooding into Europe, following NATO’s constant destabilisation of the region…Erdogan is now pressing the visa free travel issue with Germany and Angela Merkel.
When Merkel quickly caved in to Erdogan last March, giving the Sultan billions in EU taxpayer cash for the promise that no more refugees would enter EU territory via Turkey, Merkel failed to understand that when you give in to blackmail once, the blackmailer most certainly comes back to ask for more.
To hammer home his point and show that Turkey is playing hard ball with the EU’s very existence, Turkey announced it would not fulfill its part of the refugee deal with the EU if the bloc does not lift its visa requirements for Turkish citizens by this October.
Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, that Turkey’s fulfillment of its commitments under the refugee deal with the EU…
“Depends on the lifting of visa requirements for our citizens that is also a subject of the agreement.”
“If there is no visa abolition, we will be forced to abandon the agreement struck on March 18 concerning taking back [refugees].”
Cavusoglu stressed that his words were not a “threat” to Germany or the EU, but Zerohedge thinks otherwise on the matter….
So yes, it was a threat, if only one which reacts to Europe’s realization that it had made a bargain with the devil, and was trying to pull out however while hoping Turkey would keep its end of the bargain. Turkey, however, has refused, and now the 2 month countdown to October and another refugee flood may have begun.
Cavusoglu also said that the deal is working only because Turkey is taking “very serious measures” to stop the refugee inflow, particularly in fighting people smugglers. Under the agreement signed in March, Brussels pledged to pay Turkey €6 billion, grant visa-free travel to Turkish nationals, and speed up EU accession talks with Ankara. In exchange, Turkey agreed to take back all illegal migrants and refugees that reach Greece via Turkey, while allowing a certain number of asylum seekers to travel to the EU legally.
The deal came into force on March 20. The visa-free pass was initially to be introduced by July, however, Europe came up with a loophole according to which Turkey had failed to comply with all of the EU’s 72 criteria for lifting the visa requirement, including relaxing its stringent anti-terror legislation, which has become a sticking point in negotiations. The situation was further complicated, as RT adds, by the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, as many EU officials and politicians have voiced concern over the Turkish government’s crackdown on fundamental rights. Some have stressed that the foiled rebellion must not be used as a “carte blanche for arbitrariness.”
New concerns emerged after the possible reintroduction of the death penalty in Turkey, which caused particular concern in Europe. EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini has warned that no country with capital punishment can become an EU member, and German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said that bringing back the death penalty would lead to an “immediate suspension of accession talks.”
In the meantime, the refugee leaks may have already started. On Sunday Greece complained about an increasing influx of refugees from Turkey, stressing that the number of new arrivals had grown significantly following the foiled coup. Some people in Greece have even compared the present situation to that which had existed before the deal with Turkey was struck.
Germany’s vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel responded to Turkey’s latest ultimatum saying…
“Germany and Europe should under no circumstances be blackmailed.”
Erdogan and Turkey have all the leverage in this game, knowing full well once they open the flood gates for the refugees to come into Europe, Merkel and all of the Brussels oligarchy will come crawling back to Erdogan, visa-free travel tied up in a pretty bow.
The only question is what more will Erdogan ask of Europe in order to plug up the inevitable collapse of the European continent.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.