EU leaders urged Turkey to help stem the flow of refugees towards Europe, offering concessions, if a reluctant Ankara agrees to a plan to curb the biggest migration crisis since World War II. As leaders gathered for a summit in Brussels, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Europe could not tackle the problem without the help of Turkey, which is hosting more than two million Syrian refugees.
“We cannot organize or stem the refugee movements without working with Turkey,” said Merkel as she urged Europe to stand together in the face of a tide of more than 600,000 migrants this year alone.
But in a sign of the divisions within the union over the crisis, Hungary said it had completed work on a border fence with fellow EU member Croatia to stem the massive daily influx. Senior EU officials were in Turkey on Wednesday to press the government to accept a plan that was first presented to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels the week before, and were due to report back to the leaders.