As a result of the recent “much discussed” and “disconcerting” meeting between EU presidents (Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel) and Turkish president Erdogan, please find here beneath two commentaries on the EU – Turkey relations, produced and published by the EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC).Per commentary we provide a brief “Executive Summary” and a link
Commentary #1: “You sleep with the devil; you wake up in hell!”: On the new EU-Turkey Deal
Executive summary: Right from the start in 2016, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Amnesty International challenged the legitimacy of the so-called refugee deal between Turkey and the EU. Toward the end of 2020, the EU concluded another agreement with Turkey as part of the €6 billion in funding covered by the refugee deal, in spite of Turkey’s deteriorating human rights record. Against a backdrop of Turkey’s weaponizing of refugees against Europe and Europe’s treatment of the refugee issue as a local problem, the European border and coast guard organization Frontex has been practicing illegal pushbacks. It is clear that once you toy with the devil, you cannot escape hell.
Commentary #2: Playing politics with the plight of refugees. How the EU went into Erdogan’s political receivership
Executive Summary: At the peak of the ‘refugee crisis’ in late 2015-early 2016, the EU reached an agreement with the Turkish government, known as the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey. It has served as a bone of contention between the EU and Turkey ever since its implementation. As anticipated by many experts, critical voices and NGOs in Turkey and Europe, the Facility has provided the Erdogan regime with a strategic tool to blackmail the EU without caring for the humanitarian needs.