New refugee wave may exceed Turkey’s capacity, minister warns EU

Güven Özalp - Hürriyet / Brussels, July 10 () - A new influx of refugees to Turkey may exceed the country’s capacity and lead to a fresh wave of migrants at the gates of Europe, European Union Minister Volkan Bozkır has told daily Hürriyet in Brussels, where he was visiting for talks.

“Turkey has reached its total capacity for refugees. Now, there is talk that a new wave of refugees may emerge. That would exceed Turkey’s [capacity], and it would put the EU face to face with more migrants” Bozkır said.

He also stressed Ankara’s disappointment over the lack of financial assistance from abroad to help with the massive influx of Syrian refugees, officially at 2 million people.

“We have spent $6 billion so far. The total amount that the EU has provided is 70 million euros and it is still just a promise, it has not yet arrived with us” Bozkır added.

He also stated that any possible coalition government formula in Turkey would not affect the country’s ties with the EU or its bid to become a member state.

“Under any format of government that emerges, Turkey’s EU process will continue. EU membership will remain a strategic target for Turkey” Bozkır added.

The trip was his first visit to Brussels, as well as Strasbourg, since the June 7 general election in Turkey, in which the Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its 13-year parliamentary majority.

The recent negative perception on Turkey in the European Parliament is linked to the fact that the EU body is “multi-colored” and a number of its most prominent names are against Turkey.
“There is nothing that Turkey should feel ashamed about. It is true that some [negative] perceptions continue. But I do not find it right for Turkey to consume all its energy to change this. Rather, I think it is better to do the right things to change such perceptions” Bozkır said.


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