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Turkey EU migration deal in jeopardy

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 01:54

Turkey's European Union Affairs Minister says it may be time to reassess the country's immigration deal with the EU in row over visa-free travel. Saira Jaffer reports.

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It's time to reassess Turkey's migration pact with Europe - at least according to the country's EU minister. Omer Celik, slamming what he says is the bloc's failure to keep its promises, saying his country shouldn't have to either. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH EUROPEAN UNION AFFAIRS MINISTER, OMER CELIK, SAYING: "In my opinion it has come to light that the European Union doesn't keep its promises. This is my personal opinion. Turkey has no liability to carry out this deal. Therefore, Turkey may reassess the migrant deal whenever and how it wants. I believe it is time to reassess this deal. But as I said, I don't say this in connection with the crisis with the Netherlands." Signed last year, the deal aimed to stem the flow of migrants into Europe in return for billions of euros and visa free travel for Turks. The minister's comments come on the heels of a diplomatic row escalating between Turkey and the Netherlands. Kicking off when Ankara's leaders were banned from ralllying support among the Turkish Dutch population, ahead of an April referendum to boost the president's powers at home. Turkey responded - suspending high-level diplomatic relations, expelling the Dutch ambassador and cancelling diplomatic flights with the Netherlands. Germany too barring Turkey's ministers from campaigning a week earlier. Further burning bridges, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan branding the Dutch as "Nazi remnants," leading to outrage from European leaders. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EU COMMISSION PRESIDENT, JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, SAYING: "I was scandalised, by what was said coming from Turkey on the Netherlands on Germany and on others. I will never accept this comparison between the Nazi and the now governments." The row seen fuelling support for far right parties in Europe ahead of key elections. Now the last thing Europe wants is for its hard-won deal on migrants to collapse too.

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Turkey EU migration deal in jeopardy

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 01:54