Brussels | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the European Union (EU) consider a no-fly zone and safe haven area in Syria during talks to address Europe’s spiralling migrant crisis. Speaking after the discussions in Brussels yesterday, Erdogan said Turkey was bearing the brunt of the crisis and pressed the bloc to act against state-sponsored terrorism in its war-torn neighbour.
The European Union, meanwhile, said Turkey must do more to stop the flow of hundreds of thousands of refugees who have landed on its shores in the worst such crisis since World War II. It is indisputable that Europe has to manage its borders better. We expect Turkey to do the same, EU President Donald Tusk said. Turkey has become a key smuggling route for thousands of migrants seeking a better life in the EU — some 630,000 people have entered the bloc illegally this year many of them fleeing conflict in Syria and Afghanistan. Most are headed for the wealthier countries of northern Europe and Germany, which has welcomed the refugees, now predicts it could receive up to 1.5 million asylum seekers in 2015. Thousands took to the streets of the eastern city of Dresden late yesterday, accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel of crimes against the German people and treason. It won’t stop with 1.5 or two million, said Lutz Bachmann, co-founder of the anti-Islam PEGIDA movement that organised the march.
They will have their wives come, and one, two, three children. It is an impossible task to integrate these people, he told the protesters. The Syrian crisis has forced Ankara and Brussels to engage in diplomacy despite strains over EU criticisms of Turkey’s human rights record and tortuous negotiations on its application for membership of the bloc. Speaking in Brussels during a trip that has been over shadowed by rising tensions with Russia over its air strikes in Syria, Erdogan urged the EU to do more to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The root cause of the refugee crisis was the state-sponsored terrorism actually carried out by Assad himself, Erdogan said, saying three things need to be done to end the crisis.
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