Greece, Syrian refugees in the frontier

Former EU rapporteur for Turkey defends Ankara’s position on refugees

Kati Piri, known for her harsh criticism as a rapporteur for Turkey in the European Parliament, has surprisingly denounced one by one the agreements that the EU has not complied with the Turkish government.

The Dutch MEP and former rapporteur of the European Parliament for Turkey, Kati Piri, surprised on social media by openly defending the Ankara’s position on refugees and denouncing the systematic breaching by European countries of the agreements signed in 2016 between the government Turkish and the 27 to stop the wave of refugees who were already heading towards Europe.

Piri, who paradoxically during her time as rapporteur for Turkey of the European Parliament was known for her harsh criticism of the Turkish government and was accused numerous times by Ankara of lack of objectivity, surprised on Monday by posting a tweet in her official Twitter account at which responded in English to a story entitled: #BREAKING EU ‘expects Turkey to uphold migrant deal’: Merkel spokesman.

Which part (of the agreement)? -lifting visa requirements (for Turkish citizens traveling to the EU) by the end of 2016? -6 billion € until 2018 (and no new funding foreseen)? -upgrading of Customs Union? (blocked by Council) -the opening of new accession chapters? (Never happened) -large scale resettlement? (Only 25.000 refugees in 3 yrs)

In this way Piri listed one by one the points of the agreement ratified in March 2016 among the 27 countries that then formed the European Union -before the Brexit- and which the EU undertook to comply with; in return, Ankara agreed to close the doors to the thousands of Syrians who crossed their border towards Europe, ending the so-called refugee crisis.

“It is ironic that EU leaders now ask Turkey to comply with the agreement”

The former speaker of the Europarliament for Turkey not only cited all unfulfilled agreements by European countries, but as the Turkish government has done these days, she wondered why precisely now that President Erdoğan has announced that Turkey will no longer close the doors to refugees going to Europe, is when EU leaders ask Turkey to respect the agreement.

“Ironic that EU leaders suddenly all call for EU-Turkey statement to be upheld, while NO money has been reserved in #MFF (Multiannual Financial Framework, which sets EU spending for the coming years) for its continuation” Piri also wrote directly responding to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who in a tweet expressed his support for Greece’s response against refugees and demanded compliance with the pact.

“Funding for 500.000 Syrian schoolchildren ends 9/2020 and cash assistance to 1.7 mil Syrians in Turkey end 3/2021”, Piri recalled in this regard, questioning the true intentions of European countries to really continue with the 2016 pact.

On Monday, Erdoğan denounced that while the EU has so far turned a deaf ear to Turkey’s requests for help to curb the influx of refugees fleeing Assad’s new offensive in Syria, since opening the border doors he has not stopped receiving calls from European leaders. That same day, Merkel asked to create a safe area for refugees in Syria … a proposal that Turkey made already at least a year ago.

Thanks from the Turks on social media

Kati Piri’s critical message against the EU on social networks on account of the refugee crisis, especially surprised Turkish users, accustomed to the “hard hand” of Piri with Turkey, and many expressed their gratitude with phrases like “It’s the first time I agree with Kati Piri.”

One of the Turkish Internet users wanted to support the criticism of the former rapporteur for Turkey by spreading a tweet from a Greek journalist, in which she compared the treatment given to refugees in Greece and Turkey: Greek Journalists Liana Spyropoulo  “Greece can not take care of the ball the ball 65 thousand refugees. The lives of 3 million refugees in Turkey. I am embarrassed as a Greek,” she said.