He couldn’t be more clear. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned Europe of the consequences if the European Union fails to deliver visa-free for Turkish citizens: Ankara will back out of the EU-Turkey deal that aims to stem the refugee and migrant flows.
In an article posted on German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Cavusoglu wrote:
“But all that is dependent on the cancellation of the visa requirement for our citizens which is also an item in the agreement of March 18.
“If visa liberalization does not follow, we will be forced to back away from the deal on taking back [refugees] and the agreement of March 18.”
Cavusoglu added that while the government had not set a specific date for visa liberalization, “it could be the beginning or middle of October.”
It is not clear whether it is a pure coincidence but refugee and migrant arrivals started to increase again after the failed coup attempt on July 15th. An average of some 100 people have been arriving per day. It may have to do with the broader purge operation against Gulenists that keep Turkish police and authorities busy or Ankara has started to allow boats again leaving the country.
Greece’s authorities in the north-eastern Aegean Sea are concerned about the arrival increases, warn about possible consequenses and urge the government in Athens to “do something, as the capacity in the hot spots has been surpassed.”
Off the island of Lesvos, 34 people were rescued by the Greek Coast Guard on Monday morning. They had left the Turkish coast on a dinghy.
Meanwhile, on the island there seem to be a gang issuing false papers. Over the weekend police arrested a total of 16 migrants trying to leave Lesvos with forge documents. 12 Pakistanis, 2 Afghans, 1 man from Iran, 1 woman form Cameroun, all aged bteween 20-22 years old. They were arrested at the airport of the island.
Under the EU-Turkey deal, migrants and refugees who have arrive din Greece after March 20th are trapped in Greece and are supposed to be sent back to Turkey. They are not even allowed to leave the islands. The majority of them hs applied for asylum.
PS No matter how turbulent the internal political situation is currently in Turkey, Ankara has one dogma in its foreign policy: to stick with its state policies no matter what.