Turkey continues to threaten to blackmail the EU
The Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu has threatened EU Foreign Commissioner Josep Borrell that the borders for refugees to Greece will be kept "open" if the EU does not make concessions.
On Monday Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, visited Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Ankara. The talks were dominated by attempts at blackmail and Turkish expansion ambitions in the Mediterranean region.
At a joint press conference with Çavuşoğlu, Borrell stated that relations between Turkey and the EU "are not currently experiencing their best phase". Çavuşoğlu accused the EU of failing to meet its obligations under the EU-Turkey deal. The Turkish government's main concern is that not aid organisations, but the regime itself should have control over the EU's billions in payments. Çavuşoğlu did not shy away from threatening with "consequences" if the EU Commission happens to "make new decisions against Turkey". In this context, the main issue was Turkey's oil drilling in the eastern Mediterranean, directly in the Greek sea area.
While Çavuşoğlu on the one hand criticised that the EU was linking "the issue of migration with the tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean", he was not too sorry to continue that Ankara would "continue not to discourage refugees from leaving" if there was no progress in talks with the EU”.
Human rights activists have long been calling for an end to the "dirty EU-Turkey deal", which undermines refugee law and degrades refugees to a means of blackmail.