Inside Story

Can Turkey succeed where the EU has failed?

European Union leaders meet Turkey’s prime minister in another attempt to check the flow of refugees.

During Monday’s summit in Brussels between the European Union and Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish prime minister, said his country is “indispensable” in solving the worsening refugee crisis.

More than 2,000 people travel every day from Turkey to Greece, where many are stranded.

Countries on the main route through the Balkans are aiming to stop them from moving north.

The EU has offered several incentives to encourage the Turkish government to crack down on migrant and refugee movements. An estimated €3bn ($3.3bn) will be made available for Syrian refugees.

Turkey’s long-coveted EU membership process is being accelerated, as are moves to ease EU visa requirements for Turkish nationals.

However, Turkey has a huge refugee and migrant challenge of its own. It is acting as host to more than two million Syrians escaping the civil war.

So, can the EU rely on Turkey to help solve the crisis? And what are the alternative options?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan


Basak Kale – Research Fellow at the Centre for European Studies

Marc Pierini – Visiting Scholar at Carnegie Europe and former EU ambassador to Turkey

Florian Hartleb – German political expert