German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung published a new article reporting a deal between the European Commission and Turkey that aimed to curtail the flow of refugees to Europe by setting up new camps and monitoring Turkey’s border with Greece.
The report said that Turkey will focus their efforts on protecting the border that many migrants have been crossing in order to reach European Union territory. The responsibility to patrol the eastern Aegean will fall to the Greek and Turkish coastguards, in order to try to decrease the number of dangerous journeys taken by refugees. Additionally, the newspaper stated that six new refugee camps would be set up in Turkey that could take up to two million people. These camps would be partially financed by the EU.
Reuters news agency spoke with an EU official involved in negotiations with Turkey who said the report’s claims were a bit exaggerated. According to this official, the EU was in favour of supporting Turkey taking more refugees on their own soil, preventing migrant flow across the Aegean, and to build up the EU’s refugee assistance agency. It was agreed on the emergency EU September 23rd summit that more funds would be available for these purposes. The establishment of camps in Turkey for two million individuals, however, the official said, was not in line with what was being discussed.
The EU official said the EU had prepared to discuss how to manage migrant flows during Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Brussels on Monday, as well as at a meeting Thursday between the EU, Western Balkans and East Mediterranean countries in Luxembourg.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine further reported that the European Commission had agreed upon this plan last week and that it was also coordinated with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.
Erdogan is set to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker on Monday, October 5th, to discuss a joint tackle to the refugee crisis. A spokesperson from the European Commission said any new announcements would be released in a press conference the same day.