ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Senior European Union officers met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Tuesday, weeks after Erdogan took conciliation measures and EU leaders agreed to d ” improve commerce and enhance cooperation with Turkey on migration.
The go to of European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel got here after EU leaders agreed to supply new incentives to Turkey regardless of continued considerations over the decline of the nation when it comes to democratic rights and human rights, and its vitality ambitions within the Mediterranean.
Among the many points the 2 and Erdogan have been scheduled to debate included Ankara’s calls for for elevated EU assist for tens of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, an replace of Turkey’s customs union with the EU and liberalization of visa guidelines for Turkish vacationers.
Turkey is formally a candidate for EU membership, however its utility for membership within the 27-nation bloc has stalled. Erdogan’s reconciliation efforts observe elevated tensions final yr over Turkey’s determination to cease dissuading migrants from crossing its border with Greece, in addition to sending Turkish analysis vessels to waters claimed by Greece and Cyprus.
EU leaders mentioned final month that the bloc was prepared “to interact with Turkey in a gradual, proportionate and reversible method to strengthen cooperation in quite a few areas of frequent curiosity.”
The leaders instructed the EU govt board to attempt to construct on a 2016 deal that calls on Turkey to forestall refugees and migrants from making an attempt to succeed in Europe in alternate for support to refugees and different circumstances. In addition they referred to as on the European Fee to discover methods to proceed to assist fund the estimated 4 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, in addition to these in Jordan and Lebanon.
The EU-Turkey settlement has considerably diminished the variety of asylum seekers arriving on the Greek islands, positioned near the west coast of Turkey. As a part of the deal, the EU provided Ankara 6 billion euros ($ 7.1 billion) to assist Syrian refugees, together with different incentives to forestall individuals from leaving Turkey to go. in Europe.
Michel and von der Leyen have been additionally anticipated to voice their considerations about democracy and human rights in Turkey.
A Turkish prosecutor lately determined to dissolve Turkey’s principal pro-Kurdish social gathering, and a outstanding social gathering lawmaker and human rights activist was stripped of his parliamentary seat after which jailed for a social media publish.
Erdogan additionally withdrew Turkey from a European conference aimed toward combating violence in opposition to girls. The transfer dealt a blow to the Turkish girls’s rights motion, which claims home violence and femicide are on the rise.
Leaders of EU nations are anticipated to evaluate the progress of EU-Turkey relations once more at their assembly in June.