Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has continued to support Turkey in advising on the shaky refugee pact. The delegation had traveled to Ankara to strengthen the agreement between the European Union and Turkey. "Wherever we can make our contribution, we are ready," said the CSU politician during a brief statement before the beginning of the talks.
In an apparent effort to smooth out recent tensions, he expressly thanked the Turkish government for its role in overcoming the refugee crisis. "Without your solidarity, the migration problem in our region would not have been mastered," said Seehofer to the host, his Turkish counterpart Süleyman Soylu. "A big thank you, this is a feat that will also go down in world history."
The delegation wanted to talk about migration issues and security issues. Soylu in turn announced that he wanted to speak with his guests about the so-called security zone in northern Syria proposed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. There Erdogan wants to accommodate several million refugees. Soylu also pointed to the risk of another mass exodus to Turkey in the face of fighting in northern Syria.
Left-criticism: "A new kneel before Erdogan"
Erdogan had recently made it clear several times that promised EU aid did not flow satisfactorily and that more support was needed. Otherwise, you could open the doors to Europe for the refugees, Erdogan had threatened.
In EU countries, worries are on the rise again, as in Greece more refugees have arrived from Turkey in recent months. In addition, human rights activists accuse Turkey of deporting Syrian refugees to war zones. Turkey rejects this.
Seehofer arrived in Ankara early Thursday evening. Already Friday afternoon he wants to continue to Greece. The German Minister of the Interior will complete the dates of the trip together with EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.
Originally the French Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner should also be there. However, he postponed the trip after a knife attack with five dead in the police prefecture in Paris. A press conference in Greece was announced without him. The delegation will also meet Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu before leaving for Greece on Friday.
Turkey has received around 3.6 million Syrian refugees since its civil war began in neighboring Syria – more than any other country in the world. German experts recently expelled from 2.7 to 3 million Syrians in Turkey. However, the welcome culture that was initially practiced by many is now tipping, partly because of the poor economic situation in the country.
The left-wing politician Sevim Dagdelen criticized that the journey of Seehofer threatened to become "a new downfall before Erdogan". "The refugee crisis can not be answered with billions of checks and the extension of the EU-Turkey deal." Those who give in to "blackmailers like Erdogan" do not solve problems but only encourage new demands.