Germany chancellor Merkel in Turkey for migration talks
Feb 8, Ankara: German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday for more talks on reducing the influx of migrants to Europe.
Turkey, a key country on the migrant route to Europe, is central to Merkel's diplomatic efforts to reduce the flow. Germany saw an unprecedented 1.1 million asylum seekers arrive last year, many of them fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, media reports said.
Turkey is the home for 2.5 million Syrian refugees and it has reached its capacity to absorb refugees but has indicated that it will continue to provide refuge.
Turkey agreed in November to fight smuggling networks and help curb irregular migration. In return, the EU has pledged 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) to help improve the condition of refugees, and to grant political concessions to Turkey, including an easing of visa restrictions and the fast-tracking of its EU membership process, according to The Associated Press.
Turkey has since started to require Syrians arriving from third countries to apply for visas, in a bid to exclude those who aim to continue on to Greece.
The Times Times