Merkel says Erdogan shouldn’t use refugees to show discontent


German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she understood that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expected more help from Europe to deal with the refugee crisis, but added he should not use refugees to express his dissatisfaction.

More than 10,000 migrants, mostly from Syria, other Middle Eastern states and Afghanistan, have reached Turkey’s land borders with EU states Greece and Bulgaria since Ankara said last Thursday it would stop keeping them on its territory.

“I understand that Turkey is facing a very big challenge regarding Idlib,” Merkel told reporters. “Still, for me it’s unacceptable that he – President Erdogan and his government – are not expressing this dissatisfaction in a dialogue with us as the European Union, but rather on the back of the refugees. For me, that's not the way to go forward.”

Merkel added that the European Union and Turkey should resume talks about their refugee agreement and that Germany was also open to supporting Turkey bilaterally. [Reuters]