Saturday, 14/12/2019 | 9:54 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Turkey is the sick – but still strong – man of Europe

Europe needs Turkey to stem the flow of refugees and migrants now - everything else can wait.

Ahead of Monday's meeting between the leaders of the European Union and Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on the question of a deteriorating migrant crisis, a top Western politician said: "I want to appeal to all potential illegal economic migrants wherever you are from: Do not come to Europe. Do not believe the smugglers. Do not risk your lives and your money. It is all for nothing."

What Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, the body bringing together the heads of state or governments of the EU member states, refrained from stressing was that most of these migrants and hundreds of thousands of refugees came to Europe through Turkey, thanks to smugglers operating there.

For Europeans, migration is not so much a financial issue, although there can be serious economic implications, as an International Monetary Fund paper found. It is primarily a political and cultural matter, now threatening to dismantle years of intra-European cooperation.

European consensus

As Tusk would add in his invitation to European leaders for the meeting with Turkey: "[F]or the first time since the beginning of the migration crisis, I can see a European consensus emerging. It is a consensus around a comprehensive strategy that, if loyally implemented, can help stem the flows and tackle the crisis."

This cannot be done without Turkey, obviously. Otherwise, why call a special meeting?

Source: Al Jazeera