Turkey slams EU over migrant deal ahead of Merkel visit

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu accused the European Union of failing to honour a 2016 refugee ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Turkey this week, Deutsche Welle reported

Merkel, the architect of the refugee deal that aims to curb the refugee influx into Europe, will arrive in Turkey on Friday.  

Turkey’s top diplomat said that the bloc had failed to pay a promised 3 billion euros of financial assistance to Turkey in accordance with the deal. "Now it is 2020 and we still haven’t received the first 3 billion euros in its entirety," DW quoted Çavuşoğlu as saying. 

Last month, the EU said it mobilised the second tranche of a total of 6 billion euros allocated to help Turkey cope with 3.6 million Syrian refugees in the country. Turkey had received 2.7 billion euros of the first 3 million-euro tranche as of early December, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.

The bloc also promised Ankara to update the customs union between the EU and Turkey and visa-free travel for Turkish citizens provided Turkey took steps including improvements to its judiciary. 

"We are sticking to the deal and we take all refugees back who are sent back to us. What about the EU?" Çavuşoğlu said. "There has been no expansion to the customs union, and no further discussions about our membership of the EU."