Turkey’s Erdogan “taunted EU leaders” over migrant deal

The stormy meeting on October 5 last year came as European leaders, led by Jean-claude Juncker, the European Commission president, tried to strike a 3bn euro deal with Turkey to stem the flow of migrants crossing into Europe.

In extraordinary exchanges, Mr Erdogan appears to taunt Mr Juncker, saying that Turkey does not want the European Union’s money and flatly rejecting the offer of 3bn euros over two years.

“Erdogan said that Turkey didn’t need the EU’s money anyway, ‘We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria any time and we can put the refugees on buses’”, threatened Mr Erdogan according to the minutes published by the Greek website Euro2day.

The alleged leak came as Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, went to Ankara for what was described as a “last-ditch” attempt to revive the deal at a meeting with the Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu.

With more than a million migrants flooding into Germany last year alone, Mrs Merkel is under intense pressure to hold back the tide of refugees, amid concerns that the migration crisis could spell the end of free movement in Europe.

In the purported exchange, the Turkish president openly derides Mr Juncker and Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council.

“So how will you deal with refugees if you don’t get a deal?,” Mr Erdogan reportedly asks, asking rhetorically if Europe will “Kill the refugees?” if it doesn’t get its way.

By the end of the meeting, the two men are apparently openly insulting each other, with Mr Erdogan reacting furiously to Mr Juncker’s choice of words, when he said that the Turkish president had been treated “like a prince” at a Brussels summit.

“Like a prince?”, Mr Erdogan reportedly retorts, “Of course, I’m not representing a third world country”, accusing Mr Juncker of being “disrespectful” and warning him “don’t smear it [EU hospitality] in my face.”

Full article: Turkey’s Erdogan “taunted EU leaders” over migrant deal (The Telegraph)

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