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eu turkey deal


The European Union and Turkey have reached a deal on the refugee crisis, which will see refugees returned to Turkey in exchange for aid and political concessions.

Under the plan, from March 20 at midnight refugees arriving in Greece will be sent back to Turkey if their asylum claim is rejected.

In return, EU countries will resettle Syrian refugees living in Turkey.EU and Turkey refugee deal 2016

EU leaders have welcomed the agreement but German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of legal challenges to come.

Some of the initial concessions offered to Turkey have been watered down and some EU members expressed disquiet over Turkey’s human rights record.

Despite this Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu said it was a “historic” day.

“We today realized that Turkey and the EU have the same destiny, the same challenges and the same future.”

Donald Tusk stressed the agreement was no “silver bullet” and was just one part of the EU’s response to a crisis that has sharply divided the bloc’s members.

Angela Merkel said she was satisfied but added: “I have no illusions that what we agreed today will be accompanied by further setbacks.”

Since January 2015, a million refugees have entered the EU by boat from Turkey to Greece. More than 132,000 have arrived this year alone.

Tens of thousands are now stuck in Greece as their route north has been blocked.


EU countries have backed an action plan with Turkey, which it is hoped will ease the flow of refugees to Europe.

Nearly 600,000 refugees have reached the European Union by sea so far this year, many of them travelling from Turkey.

The EU leaders agreed to speed up visa liberalization talks for Turks if Ankara stems the influx and to “re-energize” Turkey’s accession dialogue.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

European Council President Donald Tusk said he felt “cautious optimism” over the deal.

Meanwhile a refugee thought to be Afghan was shot dead by a Bulgarian border guard after entering the country from Turkey on October 15.

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov left the Brussels talk on hearing the news.

Turkey had also asked for €3 billion ($3.4 billion) in aid, something German Chancellor Angela Merkel said EU states were considering.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said talks over the aid would continue with Turkish officials over the coming days.

Angela Merkel will travel to Turkey at the weekend.

EU sources had said several countries were cautious about coming to an agreement with Turkey too quickly. Among them were Greece, Cyprus and France.