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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 8th April 2016 > A NOT-SO-CUNNING PLAN The EU’s deal with Turkey to stem the flow of refugees and migrants is deeply flawed

A NOT-SO-CUNNING PLAN The EU’s deal with Turkey to stem the flow of refugees and migrants is deeply flawed


FOR AYLA AGIT, the deal signed in March between Europe and Turkey to stem the flow of migrants and refugees was a prayer answered. “Finally, we have a chance to get a new life in Germany!” says Agit, who was driven from her home this past October by fighting. The twist: Agit isn’t a Syrian refugee; she’s a Turkish citizen. Her hometown of Cizre was the scene of street battles between Kurdish militants and the Turkish army last year that left close to 200 dead. Now she and thousands of other internally displaced Turkish Kurds are planning to join the exodus to Europe.

Under the deal, all Turkish citizens are to be granted visafree travel, yet not the right to work, in the 26 nations in Europe’s borderfree Schengen area. In exchange, Turkey agreed to take back all refugees who cross into Greece using irregular means after March 20. For every person accepted back by Turkey, the EU promised to take a Syrian asylum seeker from camps in southeast Turkey. The Europeans will also hand over 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) to help Ankara deal with the estimated 2.7 million Syrian refugees on its soil.

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