“Without Turkey’s action today Europe and Syria would experience a totally different situation and the migration crisis would be much deeper, there would be more terrorism and instability.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this during a meeting with ambassadors to Turkey from European Union (EU) countries in Ankara. “Despite its efforts on the migration crisis, Turkey has failed to get adequate support from the EU,” the Turkish president said, calling for an update of the 2016 agreement whereby Brussels allocates funds to Ankara to support the management of refugees who are on Turkish territory – according to official figures at least 3.7 million Syrians – and in exchange for closing the borders for migrants who attempt to reach the EU illegally from Turkey. “We expect Europe to share with us equally the burden of this situation,” Erdogan said, citing a lack of support from Brussels in plans to return Syrian refugees who are in Turkey to their homeland. The Turkish president also called for “a stronger voice from the EU” against alleged rejections of migrants trying to reach Greek islands near the Turkish coast by Athens that are often reported by authorities in Ankara.