Turkey and the EU: Preserving transactional co-operation

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Series Details Number 131
Publication Date April / May 2020
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In late February 2020, thousands of migrants and refugees tried to enter Greece after Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he would allow refugees living in Turkey to travel freely to Europe. The announcement led to violence at the border, and confronted the EU with the prospect of a renewal of the 2015-16 migration crisis. It was also a stark reminder of the very poor state of EU-Turkey ties. Relations had been increasingly fraught due to a series of disagreements over the implementation of the 2016 refugee deal, Turkey’s military operation against Kurds in northern Syria, and its gas exploration activities off the coast of Cyprus, which led the EU to impose sanctions. As tensions have increased, even transactional co-operation on migration became more difficult. Despite growing tensions with Turkey on these issues, it was in the EU’s interest to renew co-operation on migration with Ankara. The Union should also try to shift the relationship in a less confrontational direction.


Related Links
ESO Records
Cardiff EDC: EU-Turkey Statement on refugees under strain over impact of Syrian conflict https://www.europeansources.info/record/eu-turkey-refugee-deal-under-strain-over-impact-syrian-conflict/
Cardiff EDC: Turkey’s military incursion in Northeastern Syria https://www.europeansources.info/record/turkeys-military-incursion-in-northern-syria-october-2019/
Cardiff EDC: Tension between Turkey and other stakeholders over gas drilling in the eastern Mediterranean https://www.europeansources.info/record/tension-between-turkey-and-cyprus-over-gas-drilling-in-the-eastern-mediterranean/

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