Erdoğan slams EU for failing to fulfil 2016 migrant deal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday slammed the European Union for failing to fulfil its pledge to provide funding for migrants and refugees in Turkey as part of 2016 agreement with Ankara to halt the flow of immigrants into EU countries.

The EU has yet to pay in full the 6 billion euros ($7.29 billion) promised in line with the deal, A Haber cited Erdoğan as saying during a speech he delivered at the International Migration Conference in western İzmir province.

“The EU granted Greece 3 billion euros of support for 100,000 migrants,’’ Erdoğan said, but it has failed to make “such a move for the 4 million migrants in Turkey,’’ referring to Turkey’s mostly Syrian refugee population.

Turkey and EU in 2016 agreed on a deal that aimed to cut the influx of Syrian refugees arriving into Greece. According to the deal, the EU promised the allocation of 6 billion euro in aid to Turkey to be provided in two instalments, which would be used for projects to help migrants. Although Turkey has received the firststage of funding, the bloc has yet to fulfil the second stage.

Turkey has repeatedly accused the bloc of failing to fulfil its promise to help Turkey accommodate the Syrians. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened on several occasions to open Turkey’s borders and allow refugees to flood Europe.

Erdoğan also accused neighbouring Greece of inhumane treatment of migrants.

“The Security forces of our neighbour, Greece, pierce the boats carrying migrants, causing them to die,’’ Erdoğan said, noting that Ankara would continue to tell the world about such “inhumane” activities. 

Turkey has criticised Greece for suspending asylum applications and deploying violence against migrants trying to cross into the country, claims Athens has denied.