Turkish PM says Turkey not begging for money from EU

Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu says Turkey is not begging for money from European Union, expects EU countries to share burden of refugee crisis

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu arrives to attend German-Turkish government consultations at the German Federal Chancellery in Berlin on January 22, 2016

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Friday that Turkey, as the most affected country by the refugee crisis, was not begging for money from the European Union, but expects from the international community to share the burden.

"We are not begging for money from the EU," Davutoglu told German media ahead of his official talks in Berlin.

"We have 2.5 million refugees in Turkey from Syria, from Iraq 300,000 more. Turkey has spent close to $10 billion on the refugees," Davutoglu said.

"There are many things to be done, together with the EU, together with the international community. But nobody can expect from Turkey to carry the entire burden alone," he stressed.

Davutoglu visited Berlin on Friday for the first ever joint cabinet meeting between Turkey and Germany. The meeting focused on cooperation in addressing the refugee crisis, fight against terrorism and Syrian conflict.

In November, the EU promised 3 billion euros ($3.28 billion) in aid to Turkey at an EU-Turkey summit to support plans which would improve the living conditions of refugees in the country and address the problems of refugee flow.

However, Italy opposed to the formula proposed for collecting the funding, which is planned to come from both the EU budget and member states.

Turkey took first steps as part of the EU-Turkey action plan agreed in November. Turkey introduced visa requirements for Syrian nationals coming from other countries, and also opened labour market to Syrian refugees in the country, Davutoglu said.

The prime minister said during Friday’s intergovernmental consultations that Turkish and German delegations would have detailed discussions on the refugee crisis.

"But at the same time we will be talking about how to fight against terrorism, about intelligence cooperation and regional issues, in Syria, in Iraq, in the Middle East and in the Balkans," Davutoglu said.

TRTWorld and agencies