Erdogan's Migrant Trump Card to EU Accession
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to open the flood gates of hundreds of thousands of migrants to Europe in reaction to the European Parliament's vote to freeze European Union(EU) membership talks for Turkey. Hence, Erdogan has revealed his trump card to Turkey's EU accession.
His reaction, according to the BBC-News, was to the non-binding vote by the European Parliament yesterday to freeze talks on Turkey's EU membership because of Erdogan's "disproportionate" response to a failed coup attempt in July.
Since July, more than 110,000 Turks have been fired or suspended from their jobs and some 37,000 have been arrested under emergency powers granted to Erdogan following a coup attempt. More than 15 media outlets have also been shuttered as Erdogan has stifled dissent in Turkey.
In March, the EU and Turkey entered into a deal that called for Turkey to prevent to deter migrant travel from Turkey to Europe. The EU agreed to fast track discussions on Turkish visa-free travel to the EU and Turkish membership into the coveted union. However, matters between the EU and Turkey soured following the July coup attempt when Erdogan embarked on a right denial binge across Turkey in an attempt to purge dissent.
Erdogan has accused the EU of breaking promises. His threat to the EU earlier today stated: "Listen to me: these border gates will be opened if you go any further," he warned the EU as reported by the BBC-News.
Thus, if the EU had hoped for a roll back of Erdogan rights suppression in Turkey with a decision to freeze accession talks, then the union might have to react differently given the direct threat from Erdogan to flood Europe with migrants. More than three million migrants are housed in Turkey.