The European Union has offered candidate country Turkey “re-energised” talks on joining the bloc, if it helps stem the migrant flow to Europe
The European Union has offered candidate country Turkey “re-energised” talks on joining the bloc, if it helps stem the migrant flow to Europe.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the EU had woken up too late to his country’s importance in solving the crisis and accused the bloc of insincerity.
Erdogan’s party spokesman called it “political bribery.”
The latest UN refugee agency figures put the number of Syrians looking for asylum there at more than two million.
Turkey shares a 900-kilometer border with Syria and has borne the brunt of the migrant crisis.
In comparison, far fewer Syrians have arrived in Europe.
In formal conclusions agreed by the 28 national leaders at a late-night meeting, Turkey was offered an accelerated path to giving its citizens visa-free travel to the EU, provided it met previously agreed conditions.
Clinching such a deal could be a boon to Erdogan ahead of a parliamentary election on Nov. 1 at which the ruling AK Party he founded is trying to win back a majority it lost in June for the first time in more than a decade.
For many Turks, travelling to Europe without a visa is far more important than EU membership itself.