Merkel calls European leadership to help Turkey’s refugees

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says European leadership needs to act together in order to diminish Turkey’s enormous refugee burden

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Angela Merkel (R), President of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Chancellor of Germany, and Horst Seehofer (L), the Premier of Bavaria and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) chairperson, make a statement before CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group Mee

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said European leadership needs to get its act together in order to resolve growing refugee crisis in the heart of the continent and help diminish Turkey’s enormous refugee burden.

Merkel stated that “We need to allocate Turkey’s burden of more than two million refugees between Turkey and Europe,” speaking to the press on Nov. 4 before holding a meeting with her coalition partner Christian Social Union (CSU) party leader Horst Seehofer.

“Particularly, we need a strong partnership with Turkey in order to prevent asylum-seekers falling into an illegal status,” she added.

Merkel had visited Turkey just two weeks ahead of the national elections of the country on Nov. 1, and met with her Turkish counterparts on Oct. 18,  primarily focusing on the escalated refugee crisis.

She previously declared that Europe’s effort to filter and process refugees would not work without Turkey’s cooperation.

Turkey has spent more than $8 billion of its own resources on the refugees whose number has exceeded 2.2 million people.

Turkey is also a transit point for refugees aiming to reach European countries from Syria because of its geography, bridging the Middle East with Europe.

Syrian refugees escaping the violence in their country fled Syria in large numbers following the escalation of the Syrian Civil War in 2012. One of their most preferred destinations was neighbouring Turkey, which hosts the most Syrian refugees in the world according to registration records of the United Nations.

Merkel, who is the leader of Europe’s largest economy, has currently been facing substantial criticism in Germany and also from several European Union (EU) countries regarding her open-door policy for asylum seekers.

Merkel called upon her critics that the closure of the borders will not bring any concrete resolution to the increasing flows of the refugees to the EU countries.  

The critics have included Merkel’s conservative partner Seehofer who sharply disapproved her handling of Europe’s refugee crisis in the recent weeks.   

Seehofer is the chairman of the CSU and Minister-President of Bavaria which lies at Germany’s border with Austria facing hundreds of thousands refugees.  

He complained that his state Bavaria has been left alone by the federal government to tackle with the crisis by its own limited sources.

The Chancellor replied to the domestic criticism saying that if they close the Austrian border, then, the refugees will tend towards other neighbouring countries over which they will try to enter Germany.

Germany has reportedly received 577,000 refugees which represent the highest number among the other EU countries in a time period spanning from January to September 2015.

Media reports indicate that the country has been expecting about one million refugees by the end of the year as the continent has been confronting the largest refugee influx since the World War II.

TRTWorld and agencies