Although Ankara inflates the refugee population and also inflates the amount it has spent for their support, and despite Turkey’s use of the issue as a tool,, it is clear Ankara is shouldering a disproportionate burden.
What did Europe learn from the pandemic? It learned that solidarity is measured in actions. When Italy was counting a huge number of deaths, Germany and Poland dispatched groups of doctors to treat patients.
For its part, the EU is pushing “in a gradual manner” its positive agenda (updating of the Customs Union, etc.) aiming, intera alia, at speeding up changes Ankara must undertake on many levels.
The EU leaders are expected to declare at tomorrow's summit their that Turkey deserves more financial support for hosting millions of Syrian refugees.
Greece has an opportunity to exploit Turkey's shift towards Europe in order to impose terms and pre-conditions for the prospective resumption of talks and negotiations with the EU.
Th timing of the sanctions is key as it comes straight on the heels of the timid decision of the recent EU summit to postpone imposing restrictive measures on Ankara until March.
Each time Erdoagn pushed the envelope a bit further because he knew that although Greece was complaining strongly the EU would not significantly change its posture.
If Donald Trump is defeated in next week’s US presidential elections Ankara may well escalate its provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean in order to instigate a military incident.
Linde said that as a “guest” she would not engage in a dispute. “I would hope that everybody in Turkey will have the possibility to express their views as frankly as you are doing, minister. Thank you,” she said.