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  • Syrian refugees are waiting at the Turkish-Greek border, hoping for a chance to cross into Europe.

    Syrian refugees are waiting at the Turkish-Greek border, hoping for a chance to cross into Europe. | Photo: Twitter/ @DimitarBechev

Published 3 March 2020

The signing of the 2016 agreement almost stopped the flow of refugees to the EU.

The Turkish government is threatening to unravel the agreement it signed with the European Union (EU) in 2016 to stop mass migration, as it expels more than 4 million Syrian refugees to Greece.

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According to Turkish authorities, the European Union is not complying with the agreement signed in 2016, which promised the country monetary support for the management of the millions of refugees it is hosting.

To put pressure on the EU to take action in the face of escalating violence in Syria and the risk of a new influx of hundreds of thousands of people, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced last week the opening of its border with Greece.

"What did we say months ago? That if the escalation of violence persists in Syria, we would be forced to open our doors. And so we did," Erdogan said recently in a speech in Istanbul, broadcast live on NTV.

With the signing of the 2016 agreement, which almost stopped the flow of refugees to the EU, Erdogan promised in exchange for a lot of European money, to prevent immigrants from crossing into Greece and to recover those who did.

"Today the migration crisis is undeniable. It shows the total failure of the EU in its attempts to reform its migration system over the last five years," journalist Andreas Kluth explained in an article published on Bloomberg.

The opening of the Turkish border crossing came hours after the death of 34 Turkish soldiers during the Syrian government's airstrikes. Since then, Greek border security has prevented thousands of refugees from crossing into the European country by tear gas, beatings, and pushing.​​​​​​​

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