As European leaders continue to work on ways to resolve the continent’s migration crisis, Turkey has ratcheted up its demands to help limit the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing war in Syria and Iraq from crossing over to Europe.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday outlined a tentative plan whereby EU countries would settle one refugee from Turkey in exchange for each refugee EU countries have returned to Turkey, a major transit country for migrants. Officials hope that such an arrangement would curtail the incentive to migrate illegally to Europe and without proper screening.
For its part, Turkey would receive an additional $3.3 billion, visa-less travel within Europe for its citizens, and expedited consideration for entry into the European Union. In return, Turkey will accept the return of all migrants who illegally cross into Greece, an EU nation, from Turkey.
European leaders, who are desperate to stem the flow of people, said they welcomed a possible deal, although as debate carried into Tuesday, there were some notable dissents among countries like Hungary that want to strictly limit immigration and others that object to Turkey’s linking of EU membership to the crisis.