Zimmer warns: “The EU cannot simply shift its responsibility in dealing with the refugee crisis over to Turkey. If the EU accepts the Turkish proposal, it will undermine refugees' individual rights to international protection and asylum. Only accepting Syrians directly from Turkey while leaving other refugees to a miserable fate violates international conventions.”


“Since Erdoğan has been in power, the human rights situation in Turkey has deteriorated dramatically. To retain his power, Erdoğan started a war against Turkey´s Kurdish population and curtailed freedom of the press through state violence. By bombing Kurds in Turkey and in the North of Syria and Iraq, the Turkish Government is forcing even more people to flee from that region. Therefore, Turkey is not at all a safe country of origin.


“Erdoğan will do everything necessary to keep his clan in power. As part of that, he ruthlessly blackmails the EU with the lives of innocent people.


“The fact that the European Union wants to accelerate the accession negotiations now, is either hypocritical or a moral suicide.


“The European Union has made itself totally dependent on Turkey through its policy of ignorance.


“Instead of being proactive and acting in due time to support refugees, EU governments buried their heads in the sand until millions of people had arrived from across the Mediterranean.


“Erdoğan plays games and blackmails the EU. Erdogan's promise to stop refugees on their way to Europe is not acceptable; it is a poisoned chalice.


“Chancellor Merkel in particular has held herself hostage to Erdoğan. Therefore, you can only hear loud silence from the German Chancellery when it comes to human rights violations by the Turkish Government.


“Turkey is not the solution to the migration crisis, it is part of the problem. The EU must look very closely at whose hands it is placing itself in,” Zimmer concludes.



GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Nikki Sullings  +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

European United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL)

European Parliamentary Group


Democracy & Ethics & Economic Justice & The Left News ·

Why voting matters!

Rights & liberties & The Left News ·

Left MEPs on the front line to end trafficking in human beings

Economic Justice & Employment and workers' rights & Social Justice & The Left News ·

Left Drive Progress in Declaration on the Future of Social Europe