Now the Blackmail: Erdogan Pressures Merkel, Demands Visa-Free Access by October

From Mike Mish Shedlock:


Germany has said it will not be “blackmailed” by Turkey after Ankara threatened to renounce its March migrant treaty with the EU unless the bloc granted visa-free travel to Turkish citizens.

The row over the deal came as Berlin and Ankara clashed over a decision by the German authorities not to let Turkey’s president address a pro-democracy rally in Cologne at the weekend by video link. The Turkish foreign ministry on Monday summoned Germany’s charge d’affaires over the issue.

Turkish authorities have accused Germany of not condemning the coup attempt forcefully enough.

Of more immediate concern to Germany, however, is the future of the landmark deal struck in March between Turkey and the EU to curb the flow of migrants reaching Europe across the Aegean Sea.

Under the agreement, Turkey agreed to take back thousands of migrants crossing into Greece, in exchange for sweeteners such as €3bn in EU cash and the promise of short-term travel rights to Europe’s Schengen area for Turkish citizens. Brussels also agreed to reopen accession talks with Ankara over its membership of the EU.

The deal has been highly effective, leading to a sharp drop in the numbers of migrants arriving in Greece and easing the pressure on Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, for whom the influx of asylum-seekers into Germany last year turned into a big political headache.

in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, the Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey might be forced to “renounce” the March agreement if Europe did not move forward with visa liberalisation. “It can be at the beginning of or the middle of October — but we expect a fixed date,” he said.

The argument over the refugee deal comes as Turkish politicians express fury at Germany’s decision not to allow the video link of Mr Erdogan.

Numan Kurtulmus, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, …

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