Turkey threatens to scrap refugee deal with EU as diplomatic row escalates

Turkey threatens to scrap refugee deal with EU as diplomatic row escalates

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 24: An EU and Turkish National flag are seen outside a shopping mall on November 24, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. European Parliament today voted to suspend Turkey's EU membership talks. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the decision " has no value for us." The Turkish Lira has weakened significantly since the July 15th failed coup attempt forcing Turkey's central bank today to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly three years. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Turkey has threatened to cancel a migrant deal with the EU, created to curb the flow of refugees arriving into Europe.

Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu made the threat during an escalating diplomatic crisis with Europe over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attempts to gather support from Turkish nationals living in Europe ahead of a referendum.

“We can stop it unilaterally. We have not yet informed our (EU) counterparts, all of this is in our hands,” Mr Cavusoglu said.

“We can say ‘we will not implement the migrant deal’. We don’t have to get permission from anyone”.

Turkey agreed in 2013 to take back migrants who travelled illegally to the EU in return for the promise of visa-free travel.

During the TV interview with Turkish news channel Kanal 24, Mr Cavusoglu said the EU had been “wasting our time on the visa liberalisation issue”, referring to the fact that the promise of visa-free travel has never been fulfilled.

Last year, Ankara also agreed to take back migrants who travelled from Turkey to the Greek islands, in an effort to deter them from making the risky crossing.

In return for the re-admission Turkey was to receive financial aid and accelerated EU membership talks… see more
source: skynews