7 December 2017
Ankara – Meetings with EU diplomats and Turkish NGOs on how to save the EU-Turkey agreement and why it is in the interest of Greece, the EU and Turkey
Photo: ESI
Photo: ESI

ESI's Gerald Knaus and Rebecca Paulsson Vides visited Ankara to present the recently published core facts on the impact of the EU-Turkey agreement and a proposal on how to avoid a humanitarian disaster. Gerald spoke of the impact such a collapse would have in Greece, the Balkans and on future EU refugee policy.

On 7 December, Gerald gave a presentation on "Challenges of the European refugee crisis" at the Turkish Refugee Council conference at TOBB University. ESI's proposal was also presented to EU diplomats at the German ambassador's residence followed by discussions on what needs to happen next. The key message was that the EU needs to get serious about resettlement of refugees from Turkey and support Greece in creating humane conditions. In turn, Turkey needs to allow transparent monitoring of what happens to those returned from Greece that stands up to the highest human rights scrutiny (European Court of Human Rights). This could be done through the appointment of a respected and independent "Ombudsperson for the EU-Turkey Statement."

On 8 December, the ESI team continued discussions at an event organised by the German embassy at the offices of IGAM. On the same day, ESI visited a registration centre for non-Syrians run by ASAM, a Turkish NGO. The centre is an illustrious example of how efficiency and humanity not only are compatible, but work to reinforce each other.