Turkey says IPA fund no longer on table

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says he will not accept 3 billion euro IPA fund for refugee crisis

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu delivers speech during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, Turkey on October 18, 2015.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday his government will not accept a 3 billion euro IPA (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance) grant, saying Turkey wants fresh funding from the European Union to handle the refugee crisis.

Speaking at a live interview a day after meeting Merkel in Istanbul, Davutoglu said "the 3 billion euro IPA fund proposal is no longer on the table as we have said we will not accept it.”

"As for fresh resources, we're talking about a 3 billion euro amount in the first stage. But we don't want to fixate on this because the requirements may go up, and the assessment for this would need to be done annually,” Davutoglu continued.

A EU summit held recently in Brussels called for the implementation of a migration “action plan” with Turkey to stop the refugee flow into Europe.

Visiting Turkey following the summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the figure of 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) had been discussed.

She said, “No country can shoulder the refugee burden alone. The refugee burden has to be shared,” following her meeting with PM Davutoglu.

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

Turkey has spent more than €6.75 billion of its own resources on the refugees whose number has exceeded 2.2 million people.

Talking about the offer, Davutoglu also said, "No one can say that Turkey is satisfied with the funding and the refugees will stay here. We do not accept that kind of understanding. I told this to Chancellor Merkel also. We will not let Turkey to become a concentration camp where all the refugees will live. However, illegal migration must be kept under control. This is why we will establish a joint mechanism."

Davutoglu also touched upon the recent shooting down of a drone by Turkish warplanes after the drone entered Turkish airspace without authorisation near Syria on Friday.

Warnings were sent to avert the aircraft three times, and when the drone did not comply, it was shot down by Turkish military fighter jets.

PM Davutoglu said that the drone was Russian-made, however, Russia has said that the unmanned aircraft did not belong to it, with the Russian defence ministry saying all its planes operating in Syria had safely returned to base and all its drones were operating "as planned.”

Saying that the drone may have belonged to the Syrian regime, the PYD, or other forces, Davutoglu added that he hoped Russia would show a more careful stance after earlier airspace incursions.

Warnings were sent to avert the aircraft three times, and when the drone did not comply, it was shot down by Turkish military fighter jets.

TRTWorld and agencies