“The Commission will come to its aid”, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament before he unveiled the proposals.
About 94,000 Syrian refugees left Turkey for Syria in the past year, about half returning to the border town of Kobani after the ouster of Islamic State militants from the city in early 2015, a Turkish official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations.
Erdogan, preparing for a November 1 parliamentary election, boasted of Turkey’s record in taking two million refugees from neighbouring Syria and Iraq, and contrasted it with the numbers passing through the bloc. Only 50,000 were allegedly stopped by the Turkish authorities.
Turkey has warned the European Union that an estimate of three million more refugees might flee from Syria.
Diplomats say the West is unlikely to abandon the Syrian Kurdish group in the absence of any other viable force on the ground fighting IS with Western air support.
As part of bolstering Europe’s borders, Frontex – the EU’s border security agency – is almost doubling staff deployed in and around Greece and Italy, both primary entry points for migrants looking to enter the EU.
A former prime minister of Poland and an anti-Communist activist in the Solidarity movement, Mr Tusk said that, while everyone in Europe likes talking about the need of solidarity and quotas for sharing the burden of refugees, few are appreciated when for calling for “responsibility and common sense”.
“Turkey will adopt measures that will allow refugees to have access, during their stay in the country, to the labour market and to public services, including schools and healthcare”, the document said.
It was a “beautiful moral gesture” but Mrs Merkel now faces an “exam in responsibility for the protection of the European political community and its external borders,” he said.
By accepting the plan and implementing it, Ankara “would also contribute to accelerate Turkey’s fulfilment of the visa liberalization roadmap benchmarks”, the text said, referring to Ankara’s long-held desire to smooth travel for its citizens.
A Turkish government official confirmed Tuesday that Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov was called to the ministry on Monday afternoon during which Turkish officials lodged a “strong protest” over the second infringement. There are hopes that first steps could be taken before a summit of European Union leaders on October 15-16, but Turkey is not expected to make major decisions ahead of November 1 parliamentary elections.
“Mutual insincerity now underpins Turkey-EU relations”, Wolfango Piccoli, managing director at Teneo Intelligence in London, said by email.