Turkey, Germany sign deal to fight refugee smuggling

Turkey and Germany sign agreement to cooperate against refugee smuggling, two weeks after German Chancellor Merkel's Ankara visit

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures during a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara, Turkey February 8, 2016

Turkey and Germany signed on Tuesday a joint declarations of intent on bilateral cooperation regarding the fight against refugee smuggling and terror.

The deputy undersecretary of the Turkish Interior Ministry Mehmet Tekinarslan and the German ambassador in Turkey Martin Erdmann signed the joint declarations of intent on Tuesday.

“We believe that the cooperation will provide important contributions for the two countries,” Tekinarslan said.

Ambassador Erdmann said the cooperation between Turkey and Germany needed to be improved in order to effectively fight refugee smuggling and prevent illegal border crossings in the Aegean Sea.

The move comes about two weeks after German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Ankara and discussed the refugee crisis with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

The two held a joint press conference following their meeting and gave signals of cooperation about Syrian refugees.

Turkey, a key country on the refugee route to Europe, is central to Merkel's diplomatic efforts to reduce the number of asylum-seekers coming to Germany. She has resisted pressure for unilateral measures such as a national cap on refugee numbers.

More than 100,000 refugees have illegally crossed to Greece from Turkey since the beginning of 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration. Most of them hope to end up in Western Europe, namely in Germany.

Turkey has spent nearly $10 billion of its own resources on the refugees whose number in the country has been climbing to 2.7 million people.

TRTWorld, AA